The council has announced its intention to introduce the premium tax on homes that have been sitting empty for more than two years in an attempt to bring the properties back into use.

The changes will come into force in April and see owners of properties that have been empty for more than two years but less than five years pay 100% of their council tax plus an additional 100%, doubling the rate paid.

This will impact 1,341 properties in the area.

For the homes that have been empty for up to two years, owners will be charged 100% of their annual council tax bill – affecting 7,666 properties in the city.

Brigid Jones, deputy leader of Birmingham Council, said:

“It’s unacceptable that while people are still homeless and sleeping rough on the streets of Birmingham, we have thousands of homes across the city which are unused and sitting empty. Bringing these properties back into use not only provides a solution to people who are homeless or seeking more suitable accommodation, but it benefits the wider neighbourhood.

“Vacant properties which are left unattended can be a magnet for anti-social behaviour through actions such as litter, vandalism and arson, which impacts on the entire area by creating an unsafe environment. By filling them with people, it resolves this issue while bringing footfall, life and energy back into the area, helping to increase opportunities for local businesses at a time when they need us more than ever.”