The Guildhall has announced plans to get tough on people who own a second or a vacant, unused home in Northampton by axing a string of discounts that were previously available to them.
While the Conservative administration has decided to freeze council tax charges from April, borough councillors have nevertheless agreed plans to encourage property owners to free up more homes for people looking to live in Northampton.
Councillor Alan Bottwood, cabinet member for finance, said: “This year we have been looking at how we can create savings, work more efficiently, protect frontline services and create a fairer system.
“There will no longer be discounts and exemptions available to those who can afford to own multiple properties, and in some cases allow them to remain empty. We have people wanting to live in our town and they are eager to get on the property market with a home of their own.
“So why should houses stand empty and receive a discount on their Council Tax? It makes sense to encourage property owners not to allow their properties to remain empty when they could be lived in and enjoyed by a family looking to move to Northampton or even stay in the area they grew up in.
“We do understand that there may be occasions when a property remaining empty or a delay selling a second property may occur. In these cases the council can be contacted in order to provide advice and guidance to support those impacted.”
There will no longer be a discount available for empty and unfurnished properties, which will be charged the full amount of council tax, while second homes which are not the owner’s main residence will also be charged at the full rate. Properties that have been left vacant for more than two years will be charged 150 per cent council tax.
For more information about how council tax is calculated, visit website www.northampton.gov.uk.