There are currently around 300 homes in Bromley which are liable for council tax and are recorded as having been empty for 2 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.
Have your say
We asked for your views whether the Empty Homes Premium for unoccupied dwellings should increase from April 2021. This is a sum that would be payable in addition to the council tax liability should the property be unoccupied.
The proposal was to increase council tax by adding a 100 per cent premium for any property left unoccupied and unfurnished for between 2 and 5 years, increasing to a 200 per cent after 5 years and 300 per cent after 10 years.
The consultation has now closed. Thank you to all those who responded.
A summary of the responses to the consultation will be included in an Empty Homes Premium consultation report due to be considered by the councillors in early 2021.