Durham landlords of empty properties could be hit in the pocket under tough new council tax penalty rules

Absent landlords could be hit in the pocket under tough new rules being considered by Durham County Council. Under the proposed changes, penalties could be quadrupled for the worst offenders in an attempt to force owners to get their properties on the market. Figures revealed earlier this year (2019) showed Easington had 220 long-term vacant homes, the third highest number of in the county, closely followed by fifth placed Horden, which had 185.

The SR8 postcode area, which includes both villages, also had the third largest number of empty dwellings, with a combined total of 505. Coun Alan Napier, deputy leader of the council and cabinet member for resources, said: “The government has provided legislation to help deal with long-term empty properties. “The policy is designed to motivate owners to bring these homes back into use, which will boost the supply of affordable properties available to rent in the county. “However, it is important that we seek views on the potential impact of the changes.

“The feedback we receive during the consultation will be fully considered when making final decisions on the empty property premium.” Currently, anyone responsible for a ‘long-term empty’ property, defined as ‘unoccupied and unfurnished for more than two years’ can be stung with an extra 50 per cent on their council tax bill. The power to do this was implemented in April 2013 and is credited with slashing the number of dwellings in this category by a third in just six months.

Under plans being considered by the council, following the introduction of new government guidelines, this would be increased to 100 per cent for homes left empty for between two and five years, doubling bills.

Read More

Today’s other news and sport

And a further penalty of up to 200 per cent could also be added for any property which has been vacant for more than five years. Similar plans were proposed in February by the council’s opposition Liberal Democrat group , which claimed absent landlords could be squeezed for as much as GBP1.5 million. Consultation on the latest plans is now open and is due to run until October 6 – visit http://durham.gov.uk/consultation to find out more.

County Durham empty properties numbers provided by Liberal Democrats, February 2019:

Empty homes by area:

Post Code – Area – Number

DH1 1 – Carrville & Gilesgate Area – 288 DL14 8 – Dene Valley / Coundon Area – 246 SR8 3 – Easington – 220

DL17 8 – Ferryhill Area – 185 SR8 4 – Horden – 185 DH9 7 – Annfield Plain Area – 165

DH1 5 – Pity Me Area – 148 DL16 6 – Spennymoor Area – 138 DL13 1 – Westgate – 137

TS21 4 – Fishburn – 137 DL12 0 – Mickleton Area – 134 DH7 9 – Langley Park Area – 132

DH1 4 – Durham Central – 123 DL14 6 – Bishop Auckland / South Church – 121 DL4 2 – Shildon Area – 116

DH6 2 – Shotton Area – 115 DL12 8 – Barnard Castle – 112 DL14 7 – Bishop Auckland Central – 112

DL15 9 – Crook Area – 112 DL16 7 – Spennymoor Area – 112 DL14 9 – West Auckland Area – 107

DL17 0 – Chilton / Ferryhill Station Area – 107 DH1 3 – Durham Central – 103 DL4 1 – Shildon Area – 101

DH2 3 – Grange Villa Area – 100 DH6 3 – Thornley Area – 100 DL15 0 – Willington Area – 100

DH7 7 – Ushaw Moor Area – 97 DH1 2 – Gilesgate Area – 96 DH7 8 – Brandon Area – 92

DH9 6 – Stanley Central Area – 92 DL13 2 – Frosterley Area – 91 DH3 3 – Chester Le Street Central Area – 90

DH8 6 – Medomsley Area – 89 DL13 4 – Wolsingham/Tow Law Area – 89 SR7 7 – Seaham – 89

DH6 5 – Bowburn Area – 88 DL12 9 – Cotherstone Area – 84 DL14 0 – Toft Hill/Etherley Area – 81

DH8 7 – Delves Lane Area – 78 DH8 8 – Shotley & Blackhill – 77 DL2 3 – Staindrop Area – 77

DL13 5 – Cockfield Area – 76 TS28 5 – Wingate – 75 TS29 6 – Trimdon – 74

DH9 8 – Catchgate & Annfield Plain – 73 SR7 9 – Murton – 72 DH8 5 – Blackhill Area – 71

DH7 6 – Sacriston Area – 70 DH8 0 – Shotley Bridge Area – 70 DL13 3 – Hamsteley Area – 70

SR7 8 – Seaham – 70 DH2 1 – Ouston & Pelton Area – 69 DH6 4 – Coxhoe Area – 69

DL17 9 – Bishop Middleham – 69 DH9 0 – Beamish & East Stanley – 68 DL5 4 – Newton Aycliffe – 68

DH7 0 – Burnhope Area – 66 DL15 8 – North Bitchburn Area – 64 DH9 9 – Dipton & Tantobie – 57

DH4 6 – Bournmoor Area – 55 SR7 0 – Seaham – 54 DL5 5 – Newton Aycliffe – 51

DH6 1 – Sherburn Area – 50 DH3 4 – Great Lumley Area – 45 SR8 2 – Peterlee – 45

NE16 6 – Burnopfield – 42 DH2 2 – Pelton & Chester Le Street Area – 40 DL5 7 – Newton Aycliffe – 40

SR8 5 – Peterlee – 35 DH8 9 – Blanchland Area – 34 TS21 3 – Sedgefield – 32

TS21 2 – Sedgefield – 27 SR8 1 – Peterlee – 20 DL5 6 – Newton Aycliffe – 18

DL11 7 – Richmond Area – 15 DH3 2 – Birtley Area – 8 NE17 7 – Hamsterley Colliery – 8

NE39 1 – Hamsterley Mill – 8 DH5 9 – Pittington Road – 2 DL2 2 – Bolam – 2

TOTAL – 6948

Empty homes by postcode:

Postcode – Total Number DH1 – 758 DL14 – 667

SR8 – 505 DL13 – 463 DH7 – 457

DH9 – 455 DH6 – 422 DH8 – 419

DL17 – 361 DL12 – 330 SR7 – 285

DL15 – 276 DL16 – 250 DL4 – 217

DH2 – 209 TS21 – 196 DL5 – 177

DH3 – 143 DL2 – 79 TS28 – 75

TS29 – 74 DH4 – 55 NE16 – 42

DL11 – 15 NE17 – 8 NE39 – 8

DH5 – 2

Total – 6948

You may also like...