Members of Richmondshire District Council are planning action to cut the number of long-term empty properties.
The authority’s corporate board will debate abolishing the 100 per cent council tax discount for the first month of any empty property and for properties which been empty for more than two years the premium levied increases from an extra 50 per cent of the council tax rating to 100 per cent.
For properties that have been empty for more than five years it is proposed the premium increases from 50 per cent to 200 per cent and from April 2021 the premium for properties empty for more than 10 years increases to 300 per cent.
Currently, Richmondshire has 149 properties that attract the 50 per cent premium, 112 of which have been empty for between two and five years, 31 properties which have been empty for between five and ten years and six
properties empty for more than ten years.
The council generte a total Income from the premium of £132,725 annually, but with the proposed increases funds generated from the premium would be more than £325,000, assuming the same number of empty properties.
The council’s leader, Councillor Angie Dale said the authority was striving to be proactive, but nothing had been decided ahead of the meeting.
She said: “There is a shortage of housing in Richmondshire and this is about filling those empty properties. This is about people taking responsibility for empty properties.”