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Following public consultation, the TDC Cabinet has recently agreed to introduce an extra 50% Council tax on empty properties in Thanet (150% total). This will apply to properties that have been empty and substantially unfurnished for more than two years.

East Kent Services will now work with the council to introduce the Council Tax “long term empty” premium from 1st April 2015.

I see this as yet another firm step in the right direction, particularly in relation to empty properties in our Cliftonville West ward. The premium links to the Council’s objectives which aim to reduce the number of empty properties in the district and should minimise the likelihood that properties become long-term empties.

After two years of remaining empty, properties may start to deteriorate and impact negatively on neighbourhoods which the Council are trying hard to avoid.

There are two exceptions:

1) Where the property is left empty by a serving member of the armed forces, who is living elsewhere in accommodation provided by the Secretary of State for Defence; or where the property is the sole or main residence of a serving member of the armed forces, who is subject to a job related discount at an alternative address provided by the Secretary of State for Defence.

2) Empty annexes.

Clive Hart
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