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Long-term empty property premiums to bring more empty homes back into use

On 28 January 2020, Dorset Council Cabinet members approved the 2020/21 Budget Strategy. The report will now to go Full Council on Tuesday 18 February for final approval.

One of the approved initiatives relates to long-term empty properties seeing an increase in council tax premiums.

COUNCILLORS APPROVED IN ADDITION TO EXISTING PREMIUMS TO:
  • charge a council tax premium of 200%, effective from 1 April 2020, if the dwelling has been unoccupied and unfurnished for at least 5 years
  • charge a council tax premium of 300%, effective from 1 April 2021, if the dwelling has been unoccupied and unfurnished for at least 10 years.

At the date of writing this article, there are approximately 176 properties that have been empty for at least two years.

Supporting the aspirations of the Dorset Council Plan

Cllr Graham Carr-Jones, Dorset Council Portfolio Holder for Housing said: “The aim of this initiative is to encourage the owners of these properties to bring them back on to the market, either through renting or selling the property. This supports the aspiration of the Dorset Council Plan to help deliver further housing in Dorset.

“If someone has an empty property that needs renovation, in certain circumstances it is possible to be considered for a low cost loan.  When supported by the council, loans for up to £15,000 may be offered through Wessex Resolutions Community Interest Company, approved provider of the council, which could bring an empty property back into use.”

For more information about the loan scheme, including eligibility or loan options, contact Wessex Resolutions.