Search

Havering Council to raise £1.8m by cutting council tax benefit payments for second homes

14:00 31 January 2013

The changes were presented to Havering Council on Wednesday night

The changes were presented to Havering Council on Wednesday night

Archant

Havering Council will penalise the owners of more than 6,750 empty houses in an effort to slash its bill for council tax benefit.

Consultation

The council’s public consultation, which received 295 responses, showed 81 per cent support for the plan to cut benefit for those with second homes.

One anonymous comment read: “Are you kidding? If you can afford to own more than one house, you can afford to pay council tax on all of them.”

“Many people struggle to own one home let alone two,” said another.

But one person suggested inherited properties remain exempt during probate and sale.

And another said they were concerned that taxing empty homes would stop people renovating them.

The changes, which come into force in April, are part of a scheme to save the council £1.8m – a deficit created by the government passing responsibility for the benefit to local authorities. They were voted through at last night’s full council meeting at Havering Town Hall.

Currently, anyone who owns a house that is empty and undergoing major repairs or structural changes doesn’t have to pay council tax for up to 12 months.

In addition, anyone who owns a house that is unoccupied and unfurnished doesn’t have to pay council tax for up to six months.

Both these benefits will be stopped from April, meaning the owners of 6,757 unoccupied homes will generate £1.5m between them – an average of £228 per house, although the actual figure will vary depending on the size and location of the house.

Eighty-nine thousand pounds will also be raised by capping council tax benefit at the top of band D – that’s £28.80 a week. This will affect 562 households who are claiming benefit for properties in bands E to H.

And the borough’s 739 occupied second homes will no longer be eligible for the 10 per cent discount they receive, raising £47,000.

The 715 people in Havering who receive council tax benefit and live with grown-up children or elderly relatives will receive less.

In all, 8,296 households will be affected – about nine per cent of the borough.

You can have your say on Havering Council’s budget proposals for 2013/14 by visiting https://online.havering.gov.uk/officeforms/Budget_2013.ofml and completing the survey.

0 comments

Latest Romford News Stories

Yesterday, 17:06

Commuters are facing delays and cancellations on the c2c line this evening due to Storm Doris.

Yesterday, 13:38

Officers are searching for a teenager after a 26-year-old woman was punched on a busy bus in Romford.

Yesterday, 11:09

Storm Doris has already taken effect in the borough after winds brought down a massive tree in a busy road.

Yesterday, 09:15

Leading figures in Havering have set out big aspirations by vowing to build 30,000 new homes and bring 18,000 new jobs to the borough by 2035.

Yesterday, 07:00

The founder of a drama group which has raised thousands of pounds for charity says they no longer feel supported, after Queen’s Theatre said it would not be able to accommodate its annual show this year.

Wed, 17:24

Pupils were treated to an afternoon of rhyming words when an acclaimed poet visited their school to lead an innovative workshop.

Wed, 17:00

A teenager has been arrested after an under 16s football match turned ugly and resulted in two teenagers and a man being squirted in the face with a “noxious substance”.

Wed, 15:09

After apologising for the lack of recycling bags available last week - the council now says supplies have been replenished.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

News from your area

Competitions

Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now