Homeowners or landlords seeking to carry out substantial works to a property are now being offered a council tax discount from Northumberland County Council.
From April 1, anyone who is undertaking major refurbishment work or structural alterations to a property could now receive a council tax discount for up to 12 months.
For a Band D property this would be a saving of up to £1,743.96.
The discount will act as an incentive to property developers to take on major works and bring more empty homes back into use.
The amendment to the policy follows feedback from landlords and property developers, who were often discouraged from buying empty, derelict properties due to the financial pressures that they faced.
Coun John Riddle, cabinet member for housing at the county council, said: “Our aspiration as a council is to not only have more rentable accommodation in Northumberland, but also to raise the standard of that accommodation.
“This discount will act as an incentive to landlords and people planning major work on their property, who can be safe in the knowledge that they have up to a year where they will not have to pay council tax.
“We have spoken with a number of landlords, who have explained the constraints and pressures they faced previously.
“We have listened and made the change and we now hope that this will encourage more people to take on major refurbishment plans and help to improve our towns and villages.”
For more information on the policy or to find out if your scheme falls into this category, call the council on 01670 624884 or go to the council tax section at www.northumberland.gov.uk