Manchester Council to increase council tax on empty homes?

Manchester Council have launched a consultation regarding a plan to increase council tax on empty properties in 2019.

The council are hoping that the change, which is proposed to come into effect on 1 April 2019, will encourage empty properties to be brought back into use at a quicker rate. They then go on to add they hope to increase council income and reduce administration.

What are the detailed changes?

  1. Increase of council tax charged for homes that are unoccupied and unfurnished for two years and more. The amount will continue to increase the longer the home is empty.
  2. Stop providing a 100% council tax discount for the first month that a home is empty and unfurnished.
  3. Stop providing a 50% council tax discount for up to a year on a home that is empty for major repairs or structural alterations.

    Before the changes are implemented however, the council have launched a consultation to gather views on the subject. Manchester council’s current approach sees charges of 150% of council tax on homes that have been unoccupied and unfurnished for more than two years.

    However, this doesn’t apply to some properties, for example, to armed forces accommodation, annexes such as ‘granny flats’, and certain others.

    The council expects that just under 500 homes would currently be affected. The estimate means extra income of about £170,000 for the Council in the first year, but would reduce if the homes become occupied. Individuals wishing to take part in the consultation have until Monday 14 January 2019 to have their voices heard, and can take part by clicking here.

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