The Local Government Finance Act 2012 came into force on 31 October 2012 and brought in major changes to Council Tax from 1 April 2013. This legislation affected unoccupied properties that are either unfurnished, furnished or in need of major repair. The legislation abolished certain exemptions and replaced them with prescribed discounts that each individual Council is responsible for funding.
Unoccupied and unfurnished (Position applicable to 31 March 2023) – Since 1 April 2014 it was determined that the level of reduction awarded by Scarborough Borough Council was a 100% exemption for the first 28 days a property falls into this class, followed by a 0% reduction. Properties that remained unoccupied and unfurnished following the exempt 28 day period, were subject to a 100% charge.
Changes to be introduced from 1 April 2023 – As from 1 April 2023 a 100% charge will apply to properties that are empty and unfurnished. There will be no period of exemption from Council Tax. This will take effect from the first day a property becomes empty.
The decision to charge 100% was agreed by the North Yorkshire Council Executive on 5 July 2022 and follows a process of bringing together the existing policies of the 7 districts that will merge on 1 April 2023 with North Yorkshire County Council to form North Yorkshire Council.
Long-term empty and unfurnished property
Where a dwelling has been left empty and unfurnished for a substantial period, it will become liable to an empty property premium as follows:
|Period empty and unfurnished||Council tax premium applicable|
|> 2 Years||100%|
|> 5 Years||200%|
|> 10 Years||300%|
If you are in receipt of a council tax bill that itemises your property as empty and unfurnished, it is important that you notify us should this no longer be the case. Tax payers often do not notify us that their circumstances have changed as the charge applicable is the same rate as an occupied property. Should we be unaware that a property has become occupied when it is listed as empty and unfurnished then it will result in the premium being automatically applied to the account after 2 years.