Talks on tax hike for empty homes

The Bolton News: Talks on tax hike   for empty homes Talks on tax hike for empty homes

OWNERS of empty homes could see a council tax hike of up to 150 per cent as Town Hall bosses try to claw back £2 million per year.

Bolton Council chiefs hope the controversial move will see the number of empty homes in Bolton, which currently stands at more than 3,000, fall by up to a third.

If given the go-ahead, the council will spend £60,000 to cover the salaries and mileage costs of a new council tax inspector and a senior council tax officer.

The proposals are likely to be approved tonight at the council’s cabinet meeting.

Council deputy chief executive Steve Arnfield said: “There are lots of empty properties that people don’t use. We have got a housing shortage and we want people to bring those properties into use.

“We could have been harsher but we are trying to strike the balance. The majority of homes do get reoccupied within the three months.”

He said the council has created a fund, £400,000 annually, which can be used at the council’s discretion to help people in exceptional circumstances, such as caring for a family member.

Mr Arnfield said: “If home owners are suffering some hardship at the moment they are paying 50 per cent and the excess can be paid when the property is sold. If people are in real hardship there will be a discretionary fund available.”

The changes could bring in an additional £2 million in council tax, but town hall chiefs say the figure is likely to be £1 million because many owners are expected to arrange for property to be rented or brought back into use.

Empty homes will be exempt from payments for the first three months, but after six months the full council tax rate will apply.

If a home is not occupied within two years, an additional 50 per cent will be added to the council tax bill.

Homes undergoing major refurbishment or repairs will be free of charges for the first year, but, if the plans go ahead, the current 50 per cent discount for the second year will be scrapped.

Homes under refurbishment will be subject to a 150 per cent charge after two years.

Owners of empty properties will be informed of the increases by writing in February and the changes, if approved, will be brought in from April.

Comments (21)

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10:31am Mon 28 Jan 13

oftbewildered2 says...

don't disagree with this in theory - but it must be difficult for families of deceased relatives if they are trying to get the affairs in order and sell the property as well. Or what about if someone has gone into permanent care and the families are trying to sell the property. Would the charge then fall onto the person in care? Needs a bit of tweaking methinks. What if someone has been sent to prison long term?
don't disagree with this in theory - but it must be difficult for families of deceased relatives if they are trying to get the affairs in order and sell the property as well. Or what about if someone has gone into permanent care and the families are trying to sell the property. Would the charge then fall onto the person in care? Needs a bit of tweaking methinks. What if someone has been sent to prison long term? oftbewildered2

10:52am Mon 28 Jan 13

Changing times says...

This may have been a good ideal if our local councillors hadn't just cut the staff that tackle empty homes. Bolton's approach is therefore tax them rather than help and support those with empty homes........another example of the shambolic approach to housing in the town.
This may have been a good ideal if our local councillors hadn't just cut the staff that tackle empty homes. Bolton's approach is therefore tax them rather than help and support those with empty homes........another example of the shambolic approach to housing in the town. Changing times

12:47pm Mon 28 Jan 13

aardwolf says...

I understand there are a whole raft of exemptions for the examples oftbewildered2 suggests. The current proposals are for where people buy property in hope they get so run own they qualify for a grant at tax payers expense, then sel the property on at increased profit.
I understand there are a whole raft of exemptions for the examples oftbewildered2 suggests. The current proposals are for where people buy property in hope they get so run own they qualify for a grant at tax payers expense, then sel the property on at increased profit. aardwolf

2:03pm Mon 28 Jan 13

Harry-Joe says...

Why not just rent them out whilst having them up for sale?
Why not just rent them out whilst having them up for sale? Harry-Joe

2:04pm Mon 28 Jan 13

Harry-Joe says...

Having a house empty for 2years is a waste, it could be makingmoney from being rented whilst on the market for sale.
Having a house empty for 2years is a waste, it could be makingmoney from being rented whilst on the market for sale. Harry-Joe

2:34pm Mon 28 Jan 13

tony000 says...

will this apply to empty shops and offices .i hope so
will this apply to empty shops and offices .i hope so tony000

4:19pm Mon 28 Jan 13

Therese Lang says...

Will this plan have any effect on the 2nd homes that so many MP's have? It should do!!
Will this plan have any effect on the 2nd homes that so many MP's have? It should do!! Therese Lang

4:50pm Mon 28 Jan 13

Phil from Smithills says...

Hope the council can trace the owners, my relative could'nt they have been trying to get the ground rent from a property which has been left empty, for years.
Hope the council can trace the owners, my relative could'nt they have been trying to get the ground rent from a property which has been left empty, for years. Phil from Smithills

4:53pm Mon 28 Jan 13

Citizen Cane says...

Steve Arnfield said: “There are lots of empty properties that people don’t use. We have got a housing shortage..."

Yes a housing shortage created by labour loonies:

- un-necessary, benefit grabbing migrants are taking a huge number of properties at no personal cost, despite NEVER having contributed
- single parent youngsters automatic entitlement to social housing - deny it and it becomes their problem to fund housing from personal resources rather than the taxpayer...or go back home if that is an option or stop producing at risk babies
- underutilised social housing stock with restrictive practices that encourages inefficient space usage

Get all this addressesd before picking on private house owners who have legitimately purchased their properties.
Steve Arnfield said: “There are lots of empty properties that people don’t use. We have got a housing shortage..." Yes a housing shortage created by labour loonies: - un-necessary, benefit grabbing migrants are taking a huge number of properties at no personal cost, despite NEVER having contributed - single parent youngsters automatic entitlement to social housing - deny it and it becomes their problem to fund housing from personal resources rather than the taxpayer...or go back home if that is an option or stop producing at risk babies - underutilised social housing stock with restrictive practices that encourages inefficient space usage Get all this addressesd before picking on private house owners who have legitimately purchased their properties. Citizen Cane

6:31pm Mon 28 Jan 13

boltonnut says...

Well written Mr Cane, Orsen Welles would have been very proud of you.
Well written Mr Cane, Orsen Welles would have been very proud of you. boltonnut

6:51pm Mon 28 Jan 13

grimtown says...

I don't agree, many proerties are emty anf on the market. This is a penalty on being unable to sell an asset.
Bolton council have plenty of land & property for sale not a sniff of a buyer in years.
This will damage the property market in Bolton and cripple house prices.
The lack of property is caused by single adult occupancy couvil estates where built in the 50 -60s when the nuclear family existed now it does not. build the right homes single parent multiple childrens bedrooms
I don't agree, many proerties are emty anf on the market. This is a penalty on being unable to sell an asset. Bolton council have plenty of land & property for sale not a sniff of a buyer in years. This will damage the property market in Bolton and cripple house prices. The lack of property is caused by single adult occupancy couvil estates where built in the 50 -60s when the nuclear family existed now it does not. build the right homes single parent multiple childrens bedrooms grimtown

6:57pm Mon 28 Jan 13

grimtown says...

Citizen Cane wrote:
Steve Arnfield said: “There are lots of empty properties that people don’t use. We have got a housing shortage..."

Yes a housing shortage created by labour loonies:

- un-necessary, benefit grabbing migrants are taking a huge number of properties at no personal cost, despite NEVER having contributed
- single parent youngsters automatic entitlement to social housing - deny it and it becomes their problem to fund housing from personal resources rather than the taxpayer...or go back home if that is an option or stop producing at risk babies
- underutilised social housing stock with restrictive practices that encourages inefficient space usage

Get all this addressesd before picking on private house owners who have legitimately purchased their properties.
agreed well said
[quote][p][bold]Citizen Cane[/bold] wrote: Steve Arnfield said: “There are lots of empty properties that people don’t use. We have got a housing shortage..." Yes a housing shortage created by labour loonies: - un-necessary, benefit grabbing migrants are taking a huge number of properties at no personal cost, despite NEVER having contributed - single parent youngsters automatic entitlement to social housing - deny it and it becomes their problem to fund housing from personal resources rather than the taxpayer...or go back home if that is an option or stop producing at risk babies - underutilised social housing stock with restrictive practices that encourages inefficient space usage Get all this addressesd before picking on private house owners who have legitimately purchased their properties.[/p][/quote]agreed well said grimtown

7:47pm Mon 28 Jan 13

JustBecause says...

Because I choose to leave my house empty because renting is a nightmare with the tenants having more rights than the owner, I now am forced to pay more for nothing.... Why, what is the difference. bolton council **** joke, will be selling up and getting out if here ASAP, that's 8 people losing there jobs soon!
Because I choose to leave my house empty because renting is a nightmare with the tenants having more rights than the owner, I now am forced to pay more for nothing.... Why, what is the difference. bolton council **** joke, will be selling up and getting out if here ASAP, that's 8 people losing there jobs soon! JustBecause

7:57pm Mon 28 Jan 13

JustBecause says...

And once again the shoddy media rubbish that is the BN get it wrong, it states in the first paragraph that the council is trying to claw back 2m.

Then lower it states it will bring in an additional 2m

You can't claw back something that wasn't there to start with !


If I want to have MY property empty then why not, it's MINE, I pay the going rate for everything including council tax, I don't want a discount for not using the bins ect, they should try and organise there own shoddy portfolio.
And once again the shoddy media rubbish that is the BN get it wrong, it states in the first paragraph that the council is trying to claw back 2m. Then lower it states it will bring in an additional 2m You can't claw back something that wasn't there to start with ! If I want to have MY property empty then why not, it's MINE, I pay the going rate for everything including council tax, I don't want a discount for not using the bins ect, they should try and organise there own shoddy portfolio. JustBecause

8:21pm Mon 28 Jan 13

bolton-born-n-bred says...

Good idea, allow time for the bereaved families, in social housing it is 1 month.150% is not high enough, a fee equal to a months commercial rent per month would encourage no hanging onto empty homes. An increase in council tax for empty bedrooms would also make some free up homes for families but it would need to be much higher than the bedroom tax. If anyone has seen the ghost estates in Blackburn bought by property investors in the home a CPO will be served will know this could not only see homes brought back into use, reduce homelessness but also see some of the areas effected by neglected homes improve and in turn increase property values around. Maybe Bolton should suggest this to Blackburn and other places. Non payment should result in the swift movement of the ownership of the property to the council who should then be able to sell or rent out the home or business premises.
Good idea, allow time for the bereaved families, in social housing it is 1 month.150% is not high enough, a fee equal to a months commercial rent per month would encourage no hanging onto empty homes. An increase in council tax for empty bedrooms would also make some free up homes for families but it would need to be much higher than the bedroom tax. If anyone has seen the ghost estates in Blackburn bought by property investors in the home a CPO will be served will know this could not only see homes brought back into use, reduce homelessness but also see some of the areas effected by neglected homes improve and in turn increase property values around. Maybe Bolton should suggest this to Blackburn and other places. Non payment should result in the swift movement of the ownership of the property to the council who should then be able to sell or rent out the home or business premises. bolton-born-n-bred

8:23pm Mon 28 Jan 13

bolton-born-n-bred says...

Phil from Smithills wrote:
Hope the council can trace the owners, my relative could'nt they have been trying to get the ground rent from a property which has been left empty, for years.
Take a look at the Blackburn ghost estates and who owns them,
[quote][p][bold]Phil from Smithills[/bold] wrote: Hope the council can trace the owners, my relative could'nt they have been trying to get the ground rent from a property which has been left empty, for years.[/p][/quote]Take a look at the Blackburn ghost estates and who owns them, bolton-born-n-bred

8:26pm Mon 28 Jan 13

bolton-born-n-bred says...

grimtown wrote:
Citizen Cane wrote:
Steve Arnfield said: “There are lots of empty properties that people don’t use. We have got a housing shortage..."

Yes a housing shortage created by labour loonies:

- un-necessary, benefit grabbing migrants are taking a huge number of properties at no personal cost, despite NEVER having contributed
- single parent youngsters automatic entitlement to social housing - deny it and it becomes their problem to fund housing from personal resources rather than the taxpayer...or go back home if that is an option or stop producing at risk babies
- underutilised social housing stock with restrictive practices that encourages inefficient space usage

Get all this addressesd before picking on private house owners who have legitimately purchased their properties.
agreed well said
This is sod all to with a Labour party poicy, this comes from a property market where greedy investors just want to hold on until they get a better price and that price is often well above what an ordinary person can afford. This is down to people, not political parties; but it would be nice to see some action at last on greedy investors.
[quote][p][bold]grimtown[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Citizen Cane[/bold] wrote: Steve Arnfield said: “There are lots of empty properties that people don’t use. We have got a housing shortage..." Yes a housing shortage created by labour loonies: - un-necessary, benefit grabbing migrants are taking a huge number of properties at no personal cost, despite NEVER having contributed - single parent youngsters automatic entitlement to social housing - deny it and it becomes their problem to fund housing from personal resources rather than the taxpayer...or go back home if that is an option or stop producing at risk babies - underutilised social housing stock with restrictive practices that encourages inefficient space usage Get all this addressesd before picking on private house owners who have legitimately purchased their properties.[/p][/quote]agreed well said[/p][/quote]This is sod all to with a Labour party poicy, this comes from a property market where greedy investors just want to hold on until they get a better price and that price is often well above what an ordinary person can afford. This is down to people, not political parties; but it would be nice to see some action at last on greedy investors. bolton-born-n-bred

8:58pm Mon 28 Jan 13

colournature says...

JustBecause wrote:
Because I choose to leave my house empty because renting is a nightmare with the tenants having more rights than the owner, I now am forced to pay more for nothing.... Why, what is the difference. bolton council **** joke, will be selling up and getting out if here ASAP, that's 8 people losing there jobs soon!
yes i agree i too rent out a property and i have to clean up after tenant leaves ect and they complain about this and that you dont make any money either from it - but if it happens to me ill just say mr Patel is living there and his previous address was 1 bangladeshi Drive Karachi and get single persons discount
[quote][p][bold]JustBecause[/bold] wrote: Because I choose to leave my house empty because renting is a nightmare with the tenants having more rights than the owner, I now am forced to pay more for nothing.... Why, what is the difference. bolton council **** joke, will be selling up and getting out if here ASAP, that's 8 people losing there jobs soon![/p][/quote]yes i agree i too rent out a property and i have to clean up after tenant leaves ect and they complain about this and that you dont make any money either from it - but if it happens to me ill just say mr Patel is living there and his previous address was 1 bangladeshi Drive Karachi and get single persons discount colournature

9:11pm Mon 28 Jan 13

colournature says...

and..... mr patel spends a lot of his time abroad thats why his gas and electric bills are low and he has no tv

Also he might be using his house for a place of worship ??? full discount applies here ..........hint hint
and..... mr patel spends a lot of his time abroad thats why his gas and electric bills are low and he has no tv Also he might be using his house for a place of worship ??? full discount applies here ..........hint hint colournature

10:41pm Mon 28 Jan 13

oftbewildered2 says...

aardwolf wrote:
I understand there are a whole raft of exemptions for the examples oftbewildered2 suggests. The current proposals are for where people buy property in hope they get so run own they qualify for a grant at tax payers expense, then sel the property on at increased profit.
thanks for the information
[quote][p][bold]aardwolf[/bold] wrote: I understand there are a whole raft of exemptions for the examples oftbewildered2 suggests. The current proposals are for where people buy property in hope they get so run own they qualify for a grant at tax payers expense, then sel the property on at increased profit.[/p][/quote]thanks for the information oftbewildered2

7:37am Tue 29 Jan 13

davoovad says...

JustBecause wrote:
Because I choose to leave my house empty because renting is a nightmare with the tenants having more rights than the owner, I now am forced to pay more for nothing.... Why, what is the difference. bolton council **** joke, will be selling up and getting out if here ASAP, that's 8 people losing there jobs soon!
Lets hope there are a few more like you....
[quote][p][bold]JustBecause[/bold] wrote: Because I choose to leave my house empty because renting is a nightmare with the tenants having more rights than the owner, I now am forced to pay more for nothing.... Why, what is the difference. bolton council **** joke, will be selling up and getting out if here ASAP, that's 8 people losing there jobs soon![/p][/quote]Lets hope there are a few more like you.... davoovad

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