Landlords in one part of England are being urged to get their properties back on the market or face inevitable council tax rises.
Of the 1,808 properties in North Lincolnshire listed as empty, 149 are currently charged a 100 per cent council tax premium for being empty for more than two years.
Additionally, 64 of the 149 properties have been empty for more than five years and 20 have sat empty for more than a decade.
The council already works with landlords to support them to get empty properties back into use but is now considering the option of increasing council tax premiums.
Councillor Rob Waltham - the leader of North Lincolnshire council - says: “The impact on communities of empty properties it significant, it is one of the things which we receive the most complaints about.
“Not only that there are many people who would benefit from these homes being brought back into use, not least their owners.
“People seeking rental properties or people looking to take their first step onto the property ladder would certainly benefit – a house stood empty is no use to anyone, it could become a home.
“There’s lots of help and support available, we can work with landlords to bring the properties back into use or dispose of them and we would welcome any conversation with people to see where we can assist.
“However, if people choose to keep these properties empty for significant periods of time then the only option we have available is to increase the amount of council tax that must be paid – it is not a decision we take lightly but where we need to intervene to help our communities flourish we will.”
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