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Council considers plan to increase council tax premiums on empty homes by up to 300%

04 Mar 2024 2 minute read
Photo Cristi C

Ted Peskett, local democracy reporter

Senior councillors are considering plans to hike council tax premiums on empty properties by as much as 300%.

Last year, Cardiff Council introduced a 100% council tax premium on homes left unoccupied and unfurnished for more than a year – a 50% rise on the premium that was introduced in 2019.

The new proposal the council is looking to bring in would see the premium rise incrementally the longer the house has been left.

Houses left empty for two years face a 200% charge, while homes that have been empty for three years or more will face the maximum 300% premium.

Housing crisis

Cardiff Council’s cabinet member for finance, modernisation and performance, Councillor Chris Weaver, said the aim of the premium is to bring empty homes across the city back into use.

He added: “We are facing a housing crisis and we must do everything in our powers to help house those people who need accommodation.

“Bringing empty homes back into use is one way of helping.

“The longer these properties remain out of use, the more they become a blight on our communities and become a focus of fly-tipping, nuisance, vandalism and criminal activity and if they are boarded up, they can reduce the appeal of an area for everyone.”

According to the council, there were 1,563 properties that had been empty for more than six months at any one time as of December last year, with 200 actively monitored by council officials.

Loan scheme

Property owners are being encouraged to join the Houses into Homes loan scheme, contact private property developers and give proof of empty status to enable VAT to be reduced on renovation costs.

After the introduction of the 100% premium last year, the council saw 74 fewer properties charged a council tax premium – 808, which is down from 882.

Cllr Weaver added: “This is a start, but suggests that the current level of premium may not be enough to persuade owners to bring long-term empty properties back into occupation.”

The proposal will be taken to a vote at a full council meeting which is set to be held at County Hall on Thursday, March 7.

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Evan Aled Bayton
Evan Aled Bayton
4 months ago

I have been trying to sell a house in Cheshire for 12 months. It is unfurnished and ready for occupation. I do not wish to be a private landlord due to all the restrictions and costs which make it not cost effective. Perhaps the councils could look at constructive ways to use such properties by buying them at the market rate or arranging for housing associations to buy them. I have put mine up for sale by auction now after paying 100% council tax for 12 months while not using any of the services and of course paying for the… Read more »

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