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Pendle Council reinstates council tax discount for empty homes

Published: Tuesday, 6th September 2016

Pendle Council’s Executive has agreed to reinstate its empty homes council tax discount at 100% for a maximum of four weeks.

Since 2015 the Council hasn’t been giving a discount on short-term empty properties but on 25th August councillors voted to bring it back to encourage landlords to house tenants quickly.

Prior to April 2013 empty property owners were entitled to a 100% reduction in their council tax for up to six months.

But the Local Government Finance Act 2012 abolished this reduction and replaced it with a power which gives councils the discretion to set a discount based on the circumstances of their local area.

In response, the Council agreed to a 50% discount for empty properties for up to six months until March 2015 when the discount was removed to make savings.

Councillor Tony Greaves, who oversees our finances, said: “From April 2017 owners of empty and substantially unfurnished properties will now have access to 100% council tax discount for four weeks from when the property is first empty.

“This means that they’re not immediately liable to pay council tax when tenants move out and it encourages them to keep their houses occupied.

“This will help us to keep the number of empty properties down as these can lead to anti-social behaviour and make an area a less attractive place to live.

“We’ll monitor the effects of this change and look again at the policy in a year’s time.”