Cardiff to introduce council tax premium on second homes and empty properties
Owners of long-term empty properties and second homes in Cardiff will have to start paying more in council tax.
Cardiff Council have voted to increase the council tax premium on long term empty homes from 50% to 100%.
A new 100% premium charge will be applied to second homes and furnished properties which are not anyone’s main home.
Speaking at a council meeting on Thursday, March 9, Cllr Calum Davies agreed that action is needed on empty homes when owners are not co-operative, but added that the premium fails to recognise the context behind each case.
He said: “There will be many out there who are financially unable. Some properties will be bound up in probate.
“Others will be on the market, an action that is encouraging empty homes if the owner does not or cannot do anything for it, but the sale is fallen through.”
The issue of empty homes in Cardiff is contributing to the city’s housing crisis.
Late last year, it was reported that there were more than 8,200 people on Cardiff Council’s housing waiting list.
Figures in a council report show that last year there were 1,232 properties empty for more than six months.
Cardiff Council cabinet member for housing and communities, Cllr Lynda Thorne, said the empty homes premium “was and still is about bringing empty homes back into use.”
She added: “I accept the points that have been made by the opposition that it is complicated.
“Our officers are very sensitive to owners who are actually facing difficulty for genuine reasons.
“We do work with them and we don’t charge the premium on those.
“Many of those homes are insubstantial. Not only are they empty, they are actually a blight on communities.”
The Liberal Democrats group called for a higher increase on the premiums than what was being proposed.
Cllr Chris Weaver said on taking it to 100% each: “The reason we do this is when you are introducing a change like this, you do need to see what the impact will be on collection rates, what the impact will be on any exemptions and changes of class and changes of use over a period of time.
“You do not want to over extend yourself… and you do need to see the impact that this brings.”
The increased premium on empty homes will be brought into effect from April 1 this year.
However, the premium on second homes won’t be brought into effect until April 1 2024.
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This is a very positive move.