Plans to make the owners of long-term empty homes in Argyll and Bute pay double the normal rate of council tax from this April have been deferred - but only temporarily, and only in very limited circumstances.
The deferrals were agreed by members of Argyll and Bute Council at a meeting in Lochgilphead this week, following a decision last year to charge double council tax on all properties in the area which have remained empty for more than two years.
The terms of the deferrals, and the categories to which they apply, are as follows.
- For a six month period from April 1, 2014 to September 30, 2014 where a council tax payer has an unoccupied property where a grant of confirmation has been obtained but the title has not yet passed to a named beneficiary and the property is being actively marketed for sale or let;
- For a six month period from April 1, 2014 to September 30, 2014 where a disabled council tax payer has an unoccupied property which they have previously vacated in order to move to a more suitable property;
- For a single six-month period commencing on or after April 1, 2014 and finishing before March 31, 2016 whilst major repair works are under way to the
In June, the council agreed to charge double council tax from April 1, 2014 on properties which have been unoccupied for more than 24 months.
The council also agreed to charge double council tax from the same date on all properties which have been unoccupied for more than 12 months if they are not being actively marketed for sale or let under appropriate conditions.
The charge does not apply to second homes or to the homes of military personnel which are left empty for more than 12 months due to postings elsewhere.