Moray Council announce changes to empty properties relief policy
THE owners of some long-term unoccupied properties in Moray could be in line for relief on the 100 per cent Additional Council Tax Charge.
Moray Council has updated its local policy on relief from the levy to incentivise owners to bring empty properties back into use.
Once properties have been unoccupied for more than 12 months, a 100 per cent Additional Council Tax Charge is levied on them. Moray’s corporate committee has agreed to three main changes to the existing local policy from April 1 this year.
If there is a change of liable person, a 10 per cent award of discount may be awarded for a maximum period of 12 months;
While a taxpayer is awaiting a decision on a planning application, a 50 per cent award of discount may be awarded until a decision is made. This may initially be for a maximum period of 12 months, with the prospect of applying a further 12-month extension.
If a taxpayer is undertaking reconstruction work to bring a property back into use, a 50 per cent award of discount may be awarded for a maximum period of 18 months while work is ongoing, with the prospect of applying a further 12-month extension.
Chairwoman of Moray Council’s corporate committee, Councillor Bridget Mustard, said: “The option for extending the 50 per cent relief is intended to assist property owners who want to bring long-term empty properties back in to use quickly, making more domestic accommodation available within Moray.
"There will be a need to show progress is being made to improve the property to continue to qualify for a further 12 months of relief.”
As of January 1, 2024, 504 properties were liable to pay the additional levy, which is equivalent to 1.07 per cent of the current council tax database. The charge contributes to Moray’s council tax revenue stream with £0.592 million having been levied in the current financial year, equivalent to 1.16 per cent of the net total 2023-24 council tax.
Further information will be available for property owners who wish to apply for relief on long-term empty properties.