The introduction of a significant council tax premium for empty homes over the past few years is having the desired effect in Cheshire East, as vacant homes are predicted to fall significantly.
According to Cheshire East Council, the introduction of premium council tax in Cheshire has led to a dramatic drop in empty homes.
The council decided that for properties that had been unoccupied and substantially unfurnished for at least 10 years, a 300 per cent increase in council tax would apply. Additionally, properties left empty for more than two years are subject to 100 per cent premiums; properties left empty for more than five years are subject to 200 per cent premiums.
In Cheshire East, the total number of empty properties has decreased by 269 since October 2020. A total of 12 properties had been empty for more than 10 years, and 13 had been vacant for more than five years.
According to the council, 1,800 new homes will be built locally each year. A total of 2,549 new homes were built during the past 12-month period, exceeding expectations.
Councillor Sam Corcoran, leader of Cheshire East Council, added: “It is very satisfying to see how policy change can have such a positive outcome. Bringing empty homes back into use is part of our corporate plan and this work will continue in the months and years ahead.”
Owners of houses that have been vacant for some time are urged to seek support from the council by calling 0300 123 5017, option 4.
The council also provides advice and assistance to people looking to rehabilitate an old property. The council is interested in knowing if you know of any properties that have stood empty for a while. The easiest way to do that is to complete a form online here ‘Report an Empty Home’ online form.