There are currently around 350 homes in Bromley which are liable for council tax and are recorded as having been empty for two years or longer. Long-term empty properties are a wasted resource.
For their owners, they are not earning any income and may be depreciating in value due to deterioration. For the local community, these properties can be an eyesore and a nuisance as they often attract vandalism and fly-tipping and, if homes are neglected, the value of surrounding properties tends to be reduced as a result of the neighbourhood not being perceived as a good place to live.
In many areas where there is a high demand for housing, empty homes brought back into use could become an important source of homes for households who need them. This could be either affordable homes, such as social rented housing, or market housing, such as homes for private rent or sale.
Long term Empty Home Premium
The Local Government Finance Act 2012 gave authorities the power to increase council tax by way of a premium to encourage owners to bring empty properties back into use.
A consultation on increasing the premium ended on 4 January 2023. A report was taken to Executive on 8 February 2023 and the councillors agreed to increasing empty homes premium to the maximum permitted.
From 1 April 2023, the Empty Homes Premium will be applied as detailed in the table.
|Period empty||Premium levied from 1 April 2020||Premium levied from 1 April 2023|
|Properties empty for 2-5 years||50%||100%|
|Properties empty 5-10 years||50%||200%|
|Properties empty over 10 years||100%||300%|
As the premium applies to the property, a change in ownership will not affect the premium.
If, when you bought or leased the property and it had already been empty for two years you will have to pay 100% premium on top of the council tax you would usually pay.
You are required to pay the premium if your property has been empty for two years or more unless your property:
- is left empty by a member of the armed services, who is away from the property as a result of their service
- forms part of a single property, for example, an annexe.
If your bill shows a long-term empty premium and you think that your property is in one of these categories, please email Council.firstname.lastname@example.org
Ending the premium
For the premium to no longer apply, the property must be brought back into use and evidence of occupation will be required.