Neighbours asked to report empty homes in Rugby as part of drive to improve communities

“Empty properties can blight neighbourhoods and are a wasted resource”
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People in Rugby are asked to report empty properties in a bid to improve communities.

It’s part of National Empty Homes Week which highlights the need to bring empty homes back into use and tackle their potential negative impact on neighbourhoods.Since April 2019, empty property owners in Rugby have to pay council tax on an empty property from the date it became empty.This means that, with the exception of exempted properties, all empty properties are now charged 100 per cent of council tax and no discount is allowed. This includes properties that are undergoing structural repairs. If the property is still empty after two years the council will increase the charge by 100 per cent. Cllr Emma Crane, Rugby Borough Council portfolio holder for Communities, Homes, Digital and Communications, said: “Empty properties can blight neighbourhoods and are a wasted resource.“There is a huge demand for good quality housing and it is imperative that we can get as many homes as possible back into use to give residents a home.“While we cannot always compel a property owner to bring a home back into use, we can charge a higher rate of council tax on empty properties and in some cases can take enforcement action.”Where an empty property is causing a significant public nuisance or is insecure, the council can ask the owner to take steps to address the nuisance and secure the property. If they do not, the council may consider taking enforcement action against the owner if there are reasonable grounds to do so.

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