Richmondshire District Council is introducing a sharp increase in council tax as part of its ongoing strategy to bring long-term empty homes back into use, which has seen 22 properties that had been empty for many years re-occupied in the last 12 months.

In this latest move, all buildings empty for more than ten years will be subject to paying a 300 percent council tax premium in addition to normal charges, starting from April of this year.

Properties empty for more than five years pay 200 per cent extra and those over two years 100 percent.

Council leader Angie Dale, said she hoped the increase would act as a deterrent for owners of long-term empty homes:

“As a result of our stance over the last 12 months we have seen a 15 percent reduction in the number of long-term empty homes in our district.

“The numbers have dropped by 22 to 144 but we want to see that fall much further. We expect our tough new levels of council tax will go some way towards encouraging owners to get these homes into the housing market – we hope paying three times as much council tax will be a deterrent.”

Image: Richmondshire Today