07 Mar 24

Cardiff council is proposing new measures to help bring long-term empty houses back into use.

Tomorrow it’s considering introducing a council tax premium on some empty properties to as much as 300 per cent.

In 2019 it introduced a 50 per cent premium for homes left unoccupied and unfurnished for a year, and last March increased this to 100 per cent.

The new proposals would see the premium increase incrementally the longer the house has been left, meaning homes that have lain empty for two years face a 200 per cent charge while homes that have been empty for three years or more will face the maximum 300 per cent premium.

A spokesperson says: “Our aim is to help bring empty homes back into use. 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.”

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

To encourage the properties to be brought back into use, the council wants landlords and other owners of empty properties to join the Houses into Homes loan scheme, suggesting contact with private property developers and giving proof of empty status to enable VAT to be reduced on renovation costs.

After the introduction of tougher measures last year, the council claims 74 fewer properties were charged a council tax premium.

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