1. ITV Report

Stoke-on-Tent City Council announce tax hike on empty homes

Credit: ITV News Central

Stoke-on-Tent City Council plans to increase council tax on owners of empty homes by up to 300%.

It's part of a drive to get empty properties back on the market and people in them paying council tax.

Here's how the increase will work:

  • From April 2019, houses that have been empty for 1 year will face a 100% increase
  • From April 2020, houses that have been empty for 5 years will face a 200% increase
  • From April 2021, houses that have been empty for 10 years will face a 300% increase

The council claim it will both boost the local community, and solve homelessness issues. ITV News has been filming with with a landlord who bought a 1907 terraced house last year.

The house had been empty for three months before he renovated it, putting in a ground source heat pump and using solar tiles making all of it's energy self sufficient.

Our reporter Callum Watkinson reports...