1000 Fife homes brought back into use to avoid extra tax

There are now fewer long-term empty homes in Fife
There are now fewer long-term empty homes in Fife

Hundreds of homes in Fife have been brought back into use since the Council doubled the council tax on empty properties last year.

Fife Council’s policy to charge double council tax for homes which had been empty for more than one year was introduced in April 2014, and initially affected the owners of 2115 properties.

Figures up to November reveal that over 1000 of these properties are now either occupied or being actively marketed for sale or rent.

Councillor Gavin Yates, executive spokesman for community health and wellbeing, said: “The policy intention of introducing the additional charge was to encourage owners of properties which are empty to bring these back into use to help the chronic shortage of available housing within the Kingdom.

“It is very encouraging that so many owners have taken steps to bring their empty properties back into use.

“The Council would encourage any owners of such properties which are currently being charged the additional levy to contact the Council’s empty homes team which can provide support, advice and guidance to owners.”

The figures show that, of the properties brought back into use, 669 have had work completed on them and have now been let or sold, and a further 176 are now the owner’s main residence. There are a further 261 properties where works are complete and the properties are now being advertised for sale or let.