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Council Tax: Changes affecting second homes and empty properties

Recent changes in Government legislation mean the Council will now have greater power over the amounts of Council Tax it can charge on second homes and empty properties.

The changes also allow the Council the option to charge an additional empty homes “premium” of up to 50% for properties that have remained empty for more than two years.

In addition, the exemption for unoccupied and unfurnished properties for up to six months and properties requiring or undergoing major work for up to twelve months will no longer exist. Instead, the Council can decide what percentage of Council Tax to charge in these circumstances up to the full amount.

Following a meeting of the Council on 18 December 2012, it was agreed that the following changes will apply to properties across Poole from 1 April 2013:

  • A discount for second homes and properties which have been empty for more than six months will no longer be given in Poole. This means that with effect from 1 April 2013, the full Council Tax will be payable in respect of these properties.

  • An empty homes “premium” of an additional 50% Council Tax will apply from 1 April 2013 to empty properties that have remained unoccupied and unfurnished for more than two years.

  • With effect from 1 April 2013, any exemption for an unfurnished and unoccupied property for up to six months, (currently class C) will cease. The full Council Tax will be payable and there will no longer be an exemption or discount for unoccupied periods between occupiers/tenants.

  • With effect from 1 April 2013, any existing exemption for uninhabitable properties requiring or undergoing structural repairs for up to twelve months, (currently class A) will cease. The full Council Tax will be payable and there will no longer be an exemption or discount for these properties.

This means that if the circumstances of your property remain the same, you will no longer receive a discount or exemption beyond 31st March 2013 and you will be sent a Council Tax bill for the new financial year.

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