Vale landlords warned: Expect charges if you leave your house empty or derelict

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Landlords are set to be charged more if they leave properties empty, as officials plan to cut the ‘reward’ of leaving homes abandoned to address the Vale’s housing shortage.

Until now, council tax has only been charged after a property has been empty for more than six months.

But Aylesbury Vale District Council is reducing that grace period to one month. It also plans to charge an extra 50% in council tax if a house stands empty for more than two years.

Previously, owners of uninhabitable properties did not pay council tax for the first 12 months, but under the plans will be charged 50% of the council tax rate during that time.

Neil Blake, cabinet member for resources, said: “The government has abolished all discounts for empty and uninhabitable properties and if we had done nothing, owners of these properties would have been liable for the full council tax from April 1.

“We are providing discounts where otherwise there would be none.

“We believe this is a fair approach which aims to increase the availability of housing and raise extra money to help keep council tax down for every taxpayer.