OWNERS of homes in Bath and North East Somerset that have been empty for more than six months are being alerted to a change in Council Tax charges.

Following a change in legislation and a decision by the authority, the length of time a property can be empty before the owners are charged a council tax premium of 100 per cent will be reduced from two years to one from 1 April.

The change encourages owners of long-term empty properties to return them to occupation, so increasing the number of homes available in B&NES.

Since the start of the financial year 2023/24, 98 empty properties have been bought back into use under the council’s Empty Residential Property Policy that offers advice and financial support to owners of homes that have been empty for six months or more, through loans, grants and VAT reduction.

Those who own an empty property, Council Tax is normally payable, although in some situations they may be eligible for an exemption. People can find more information on Council Tax and unoccupied properties on the council website.

For more information about the council’s Empty Property Service or to report an empty property that’s negatively impacting the community, please visit the council website or contact the Empty Property Officer on 01225 396 411.