Consultation on proposals to stop council tax discount for empty and unfurnished homes in Lewes district

We would like to hear your views over proposals to stop the council tax discount for empty and unfurnished homes in the district. 

Under the proposals we would stop providing a 100% council tax discount for the first month that a home is empty and unfurnished, known as a ‘Class C’ discount. The changes would take effect from 1 April 2020.

Why are we proposing this change?

The benefits of this proposal would be: 

  • property owners would be encouraged to bring empty homes back into use more quickly – the council can help owners find tenants if needed
  • income from council tax would increase 
  • the administration costs of processing these discounts would be reduced

The additional income raised will be around £180,000 per year. The Lewes District Council’s share of this income, around £28,000 per year, would be used to support some of our most vulnerable claimants who claim other forms of council tax reduction. The remainder would go to East Sussex County Council, Sussex Police and East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service.

Who will this affect?

Over the last three years we have awarded a Class C Discount on an average of 311 properties per year. This change will affect those liable to pay council tax on empty and unfurnished properties. A significant majority of these claimants are private sector landlords and housing associations.

Have your say

We would like to hear the views of residents, landlords, private or council tenants and other stakeholders over this proposal. We have provided an online survey to help structure your feedback.

The closing date of this consultation is Thursday 31 December 2019 at 5pm.

Online survey

To request the consultation information in a different language or format such as a paper copy, large print or audio file please contact us