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Changes to council tax discounts to help young care leavers and reduce empty properties

Published: Mon 21 January, 2019

Changes to council tax discounts in North West Leicestershire will support care leavers and require people with second and empty homes to pay more.

No council tax for care leavers

Under the new North West Leicestershire District Council (NWLDC) council tax discount scheme, people leaving care and the households they live in will pay no council tax until they are 25.

Councillor Nick Rushton, Corporate Portfolio Holder at NWLDC, said: “We understand that the transition out of care for young people can be a stressful and problematic time for many. Without the support of a family or the experience of managing their own finances, care leavers can be more susceptible to debt.

“We are pleased to give financial support to these young people by reducing their council tax bill to zero until the age of 25 and we hope this gives them a bit of a boost while they establish themselves outside of the care system.”

This policy has been implemented with immediate effect.

Tackling the problem of empty homes

Other changes to the discount scheme will remove the 10% discount for owners of second homes. Owners of uninhabitable properties who are completing major structural repairs will continue to pay 50% council tax for up to 12 months but will then have to pay the full council tax bill.

In an effort to reduce the number of empty properties in the district, owners of properties that have been empty for two years or more will be charged a premium of 50% on top of their full council tax bill for 12 months. Properties that have been empty for more than three years will be charged double the normal council tax bill.

These changes will take effect from 1 April 2019.

Newly empty properties will still receive the one month full discount on their council tax bill.

“We know that some property owners are happy to leave those homes empty, partly because they don’t have to pay the full council tax bill for them,” added Councillor Rushton. “We don’t think this is acceptable when we have high demand for homes in the district.

“We believe that these measures are reasonable, as they give discounts to people working on empty properties that need modernising and landlords re-letting properties, whilst charging more for people who leave a property empty for two years or more.” 

“We know that some property owners are happy to leave those homes empty, partly because they don’t have to pay the full council tax bill for them,” added Councillor Rushton. “We don’t think this is acceptable when we have high demand for homes in the district.

“We believe that these measures are reasonable, as they give discounts to people working on empty properties that need modernising and landlords re-letting properties, whilst charging more for people who leave a property empty for two years or more.” 

Read more about council tax discounts

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