Measures to curb second homes ‘a tsunami driving landlords to sell up’ says shadow minister
Shadow Housing Minister Janet Finch-Saunders has described measures put in place by the Welsh Government to control the proliferation of second homes as “a tsunami driving landlords to sell up”.
The Welsh Conservative Senedd Member for Aberconwy also claims that efforts to reduce the number of holiday homes in communities as part of a cooperation deal with Plaid Cymru is exacerbating the shortage of private rental properties in Wales.
Figures compiled by the shadow minister with the National Residential Landlord Association reveal that 26.8 per cent of landlords in Wales have sold property in the last 12 months, with 49 per cent saying they plan to sell a property in the next 12 months.
Landlord repossessions have also been increasing over the past year, up to 150 in the second quarter of 2022 compared to 78 in the final quarter of 2021.
Mrs Finch-Sanders says: “There are communities such as Caernarfon and Bangor in Gwynedd, Llangefni and Holyhead in Anglesey, and Milford Haven and Haverfordwest in Pembrokeshire, where providing a sufficient supply of rented accommodation is more important than limiting the numbers of second homes.
“The anti-multiple ownership policies stemming out of the Plaid Cymru and Welsh Labour cooperation government are driving private landlords out of the sector.
“At a time when residents are waiting years on housing lists, the spend on temporary accommodation is sky-rocketing, and not enough houses are being built, Wales needs to retain a strong rented accommodation sector.
“For years, I have warned the Welsh Government that this key component of our diverse property market was going to collapse, and now we have it.
“Welsh Government policy is acting as a tsunami driving landlords to sell up, repossess, and as such reduce the number of homes available on the market.”
Council Tax premiums
Following a consultation, from April next year, Welsh local authorities will be able to set council tax premiums on second homes and long-term empty properties to 300%.
The criteria for self-catering accommodation being liable for business rates instead of council tax will also change at the same time, from 70 to 182 days.
Campaigners against second homes claim increasing council tax on second homes and empty properties has already raised millions for local services.
Cymdeithas yr Iaith published figures last month following a Freedom Of Information request which revealed that Pembrokeshire Council raised £5.84 million, Anglesey and Gwynedd and Powys raised over £4m each through raising a council tax premium on empty properties and/or second houses between 2017 and 2019.
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