Hastings Borough council is considering doubling council tax for empty properties. It is part of a move to end the housing shortage in the town. There were reported to be 1,112 empty properties in 2017 and this number has risen to 1,334 as of the end of 2018.
Owners of empty properties could see a 200% increase if properties remain vacant after 5 years.
This is in an effort to bring down property prices for first time buyers and tenants. The Council also plan to retain 14 percent of increased tax revenue on properties valued over 95 thousand pounds to boost council funding.
Peter Chowney stated that this plan combined with the compulsory purchase order, which ensures that anyone who buys a property with the condition that it will be rented out and used follows through with that promises. This will help to fill these empty homes and take the pressure off of the housing shortage that is effecting Hastings.
The Roost Group, a local affordable housing provider explained that some of the action taken by the local council has put pressure on landlords which means some may have to sell their properties to avoid bankruptcy.