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BUDGET 2017: Council tax to double for empty property owners

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Written by: Lana Clements
22/11/2017
Owners of empty properties were in the firing line of the Budget, as the Chancellor laid out plans to boost housing supply.

Local authorities will be able to charge a 100% Council Tax surcharge to people who own properties without any tenants, from the current level of 50%.

The measure is not expected to raise significant amounts for the Treasury, but it’s a symbolic move by chancellor Philip Hammond, critics said.

He also laid out plans to create 300,000 new homes a year and to scrap stamp duty for first-time buyers.

Blane Perrotton, managing director of national surveyors, Naismiths, said: “The 100% Council Tax premium on empty properties may not amount to much financially but it represents a tougher stance by the government that should be applauded.”

John Phillips, group operations director for Just Mortgages and Spicerhaart, added: “The chancellor promised a Budget that was good for the housing market, and in the main, he has delivered, with pledges to pour £44bn into building new homes, clamping down on empty properties and cutting stamp duty for first-time buyers.”

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