Rating (Property in Common Occupation) and Council Tax (Empty Dwellings) Bill

Written evidence submitted by Gary Martin (RCTB01)

Dear Sir,

I have read the transcript on the bill before Parliament. I feel the length of time a property should be empty before increased loss of discount/Council Tax recovery is enforced, should be six months, or less. Perhaps there should just be an "empty property tax"?

Many empty properties belong to RSL's/LA's, so effectively we are talking about private sector properties.

Obviously where possession action has taken place, there would not be a registered owner, save for the mortgage lender, or asset management company, so there's a problem there.

Forces personnel serving overseas, those in Hospital, or respite, should not be looked at as empty homes, there are separate rules about those groups. Members gave a swathe of ideas on how monies raised could be ring-fenced, for other purposes. This is to be applauded.

Many older people who pass away, may have no relatives, and may be given paupers funerals. Involving other agencies, like Hospices. (Where I used to work)

Properties in areas of London, are left empty by non-resident owners, for investment purposes. An issue that needs further investigation on its own. Perhaps there is an argument that no discount applies on an empty property! Save for, in emergencies, like flood damage, natural disaster, death and DV situations.

Holiday lets were raised, business or dwelling? Air BnB/Spareroom.co.uk, gumtree, and the rest should be monitored for this specific reason.

April 2018


Prepared 2nd May 2018