Darlington Borough Council votes in favour of empty home tax discount cuts

First published in News
Last updated
Darlington and Stockton Times: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter (Darlington)

COUNCILLORS have agreed to reduce council tax discounts for empty Darlington homes, saving the authority £645,000 a year.

At an extraordinary meeting of Darlington Borough Council yesterday (Thusday, January 24), members voted in favour of the changes, which will see a 50 per cent premium for empty homes introduced in April.

Tax discounts on empty homes and second properties will also be cut, and the six-month full tax discount currently available for empty unfurnished homes will be reduced to one month, saving the authority £552,000.

The current full discount for 12 months on empty properties undergoing major repair will be removed to save £164,000.

Dorothy Long, Labour councillor for Northgate ward welcomed the changes. She said: “If you represent a ward like mine where some landlords own up to 60 properties, it is in their interest to bring them back into a living state.

“This will have a huge effect and will help enormously because any empty properties can bring down the area and there are some great people that live here.”

Councillor Alan Macnab, Liberal Democrat member for North Road agreed, saying: “We welcome the report and fully support it.

“We have a large number of landlords with large numbers of properties as well and some of them are in a pretty awful state. We nag at the private landlords to get them tidied up; it is a devil of a job to do it.”

Council leader Bill Dixon said: “The landlords you are talking about are happy to let them stay empty for months.

“We are robbing from the filthy rich but we have to find the money somehow to help these needy families that this government have so savagely attacked.”

Comments (2)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

3:42pm Fri 25 Jan 13

stevegg says...

Finally a long overdue common sense result from Darlington council. My only question is why has it taken this long to implement this? Most of the landlords/second home owners this affects are relatively well off anyway, its a scandal that this has been allowed to go on for so long saving more money for those who can afford to pay extra!
Finally a long overdue common sense result from Darlington council. My only question is why has it taken this long to implement this? Most of the landlords/second home owners this affects are relatively well off anyway, its a scandal that this has been allowed to go on for so long saving more money for those who can afford to pay extra! stevegg
  • Score: 0

12:23pm Tue 29 Jan 13

GarryR says...

I'm not convinced this will have the desired effect. On the relatively safe assumption that private landlords are capitalists, landlords will avoid being out of pocket. Private landlords of existing Darlington property will recover the increased costs of un-let periods through increased rental rates. New landlords will choose to invest elsewhere without the increased cost and/ or pressure down the price they are willing to pay for property... or, as for existing Darlington landlords without such mobility of assets, the rental rates will increase accordingly. Some could leave the market or reduce their exposure to the market, getting better returns elsewhere, thereby reducing supply. So whilst the increased levy is applied to landlords the persons footing the bill will be others.

I hope that the changes do not apply to those that currently have a discount for a job-related second home.

http://www.darlingto
n.gov.uk/dar_public/
documents/_Resources
/Finance/Counciltax/
Discount%20Form%20-%
20Second%20Home%20Jo
b%20Related.pdf
I'm not convinced this will have the desired effect. On the relatively safe assumption that private landlords are capitalists, landlords will avoid being out of pocket. Private landlords of existing Darlington property will recover the increased costs of un-let periods through increased rental rates. New landlords will choose to invest elsewhere without the increased cost and/ or pressure down the price they are willing to pay for property... or, as for existing Darlington landlords without such mobility of assets, the rental rates will increase accordingly. Some could leave the market or reduce their exposure to the market, getting better returns elsewhere, thereby reducing supply. So whilst the increased levy is applied to landlords the persons footing the bill will be others. I hope that the changes do not apply to those that currently have a discount for a job-related second home. http://www.darlingto n.gov.uk/dar_public/ documents/_Resources /Finance/Counciltax/ Discount%20Form%20-% 20Second%20Home%20Jo b%20Related.pdf GarryR
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree