OWNERS of empty houses could see their standard council tax doubled.

Domestic properties which have been left empty and unfurnished for at least five years will see the tax increased by 100 per cent, which councillors unanimously agreed at the last council meeting (February 25).

The current rate the long term empty premium charges at is 100 per cent.

This will be implemented from April 1 where it could go up to 300 per cent next year for properties that have been left empty and unfurnished for at least 10 years.

READ MORE: The Royal Borough Council scrap parking discounts

The report, which was presented to members, states this could bring further income of £70,000 and discourage home owners leaving their properties empty and bring them back into use.

The Royal Borough currently has 98 long term empty homes where 41 have remained unfurnished or emptied for at least 10 years.

Councillor David Hilton (Conservative: Ascot and Sunninghill), the lead member for finance, said: “I think this is an admirable thing to do.

“We actually gain more funding from properties that sit empty when perhaps they shouldn’t.

“Some of those properties will go back into use, so there are no downsides to this particular proposal.”