Rating (Property in Common Occupation) and Council Tax (Empty Dwellings) Bill: Lords third reading

19 July 2018

The Rating (Property in Common Occupation) and Council Tax (Empty Dwellings) Bill had its third reading, a chance to 'tidy up' the bill and make changes, in the Lords on Wednesday 18 July.

Members discussed a change to the bill regarding the increase in council tax payments for long-term empty dwellings for the financial years beginning in 2019, 2020 and 2021. Following a debate members of the Lords agreed to the amendment and the change was made.

The bill will now return to the Commons for consideration of Lords amendments.

Lords report stage: Wednesday 4 July

Members discussed proposed changes to the bill relating to the percentage amount of council tax increases, dependent on:

  • how long a dwelling has been unoccupied
  • whether a property is undergoing improvements to increase its energy rating

Lords committee stage: Tuesday 19 June

Members discussed the impact of charging higher amounts for long-term empty dwellings, the definition of a long-term empty dwelling and the treatment of multiple inherited properties as one for the purposes of non-domestic rating. 

Lords second reading: Monday 4 June

Members discussed a number of subjects covered by the bill, including the practices of the Valuation Office Agency, national housing shortages and support for councils in the efficient use of existing housing stock.

Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth (Conservative), parliamentary under-secretary in the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government will respond on behalf of the government.

Committee stage, the first chance for line-by-line scrutiny, is yet to be scheduled.

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

This bill aims to:

  • retrospectively reinstate particular features of business rates valuation practice in relation to contiguous properties
  • allow local authorities to charge up to a 100 per cent council tax premium for ‘long-term empty dwellings’.

Further information

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