Posted: Fri 27th Oct 2023

Council Tax Premiums for Empty Properties and Second Homes in Rhondda Cynon Taf to Continue

news.wales / newyddion.cymru
This article is old - Published: Friday, Oct 27th, 2023

Council tax premiums for long term empty properties and second homes in Rhondda Cynon Taf will continue.
Full council on Wednesday, October 25 agreed that the council continues with a 50% council tax premium for properties that have been empty for between a year and two years and a 100% premium for properties empty for longer than two years.
It also agreed that the council reaffirms the introduction of a 100% premium for second homes (class B properties) from April 2024, as agreed in the council meeting of January 18 this year.
The Housing (Wales) Act 2014 means councils to raise an additional “premium” on homes that have been empty for 12 months or more and second homes.
A long-term empty property is defined as a dwelling which is both unoccupied and substantially unfurnished for a continuous period of at least one year.
On second homes, in order for a premium to apply to homes occupied periodically, a council must make its first decision at least one year before the beginning of the financial year to which the premium relates and RCT made this decision at its meeting in January, with the premium being applicable from April 1, 2024.
The level of premium for long term empty properties will continue at 50% where the property has been empty for between a year and two years and 100% where it has been empty for longer than two years and for second homes the level of premium will be 100%.
Another recommendation that was agreed by full council was continuing with no council tax discount for second homes/holiday homes which are also known as class A, B and C properties.
The council can award up to 50% discount on second homes or holiday homes (class A and B) but the council has previously decided not to allow a discount for class A and class B properties.
Class A properties are those which are not someone’s sole or main residence, which are furnished and where occupation is prohibited by law for a continuous period of at least 28 days in the relevant year.
Class B properties are the same but occupation is not prohibited by law for a continuous period of at least 28 days in the relevant year.
The council can also grant up to 50% discount on unoccupied and substantially unfurnished chargeable homes beyond the statutory six month exemption period and these properties are known as class C but the council has previously decided not to allow a discount on class C properties.
The leader Councillor Andrew Morgan said including RCT there are 17 councils in Wales who charge a premium on long term empty properties and another which is out to consultation.
And on second homes he said there are 16 including RCT that charge and again there’s one out to consultation.
He said they’ve got a “really generous” regeneration grant for empty properties and added they shouldn’t just look at these houses as houses they need to see these houses becoming homes because they can’t just be building houses in the future all the time when they’ve got so many empty properties.
He said he knows it’s a blunt tool and sometimes genuine cases get caught up in it but it’s difficult to make exemptions for specific cases.
Cllr Morgan said he thinks it’s fair what’s being put forward and that the number of empty properties are coming down substantially. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​



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