At a Horsham District Council Cabinet meeting on 25 January, senior councillors will look to recommend shortening the period before a 100% increase in Council Tax premium is applied for owners of properties which are defined as long-term empty homes.
The added charge is intended to encourage owners to bring empty properties back into use to provide homes in the District.
If recommended, the new Council Tax premium will come into force on 1 April 2024 after one year’s ownership instead of two years.
Additionally, Cabinet Members will also consider a 100% Council Tax increase for owners of properties which are only occupied occasionally (used as second homes). If this recommendation is approved, it would come into force on 1 April 2025.
Horsham District Council Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources Cllr Mark Baynham commented:
It doesn’t feel right that, at a time when we have a shortage of homes for local people in Horsham District, so many properties are standing long-term empty or being used as a second home.
"I am therefore pleased we are considering to increase these levies and that as a result, more properties may come back on to the market from owners of second and empty homes who are discouraged by the extra fees.
“Alternatively, if they retain the properties, they will be making much greater contributions to local services which are currently under great pressure."