600 second homes in the Lake District 'empty for more than two years' (From The Westmorland Gazette)
When news happens, text KENEWS and your photos and videos to 80360. Or contact us by email or phone.
600 second homes in the Lake District 'empty for more than two years'
A total of 545 homes in South Lakeland have stood empty for more than two years, council officials are reporting.
And a further 596 homes stand vacant for up to six months of the year, according to a report.
Now second home owners and vacant property owners are being forced to pay more council tax after South Lakeland District Council brought in new rules this year.
The authority says it has recouped an extra £1.5 million from thousands of second home owners over the past few months and the area's empty homes are filling up again.
SLDC toughened up its policies from April to abolish council tax discounts for second home owners which has helped generate additional income.
A total of £600,000 was realised by making second home owners pay full council tax rather than get a 10 per cent discount for it not being their primary residence.
A total of 3,800 second home owners in South Lakeland have had to pay full council tax after the discount was abolished by the Lib Dem-run authority from the start of the new financial year.
A further £700,000 has been generated by charging full council tax on properties vacant for over six months – removing the previous 50 per cent council tax discount.
Owners of properties empty for two years now also have to contribute 50 per cent of their council tax bill - which brought in £256,300.
The council says the sums have been put in to a new Collection Fund to help SLDC bridge a reduction in government funding.
The government’s Welfare Reform Act abolished Council Tax benefit for people from April 1.
Whitehall told SLDC it would receive £560,000 a year less towards paying out such a benefit but the council said it was concerned that it would hit the elderly, those on low wages and disabled people.
The collection fund is now used to subsidise the benefit.
Comments are closed on this article.