Agenda item



[Note: Councillor A. Davies having earlier declared a personal interest in this item left the meeting during the consideration and voting thereof.]


The Cabinet considered a report which provided information on the areas for consideration in relation to Second Homes/Short Term Holiday Homes and Empty Properties.  Which had been developed following concerns raised at both a local and National level about the perceived impact of growing numbers of second homes and empty properties on our communities.


The Cabinet Member for Resources, in presenting the report highlighted that in 2021, as part of the Agreement between the Welsh government and Plaid Cymru, ways of tackling the second home crisis were announced, including the right to raise the premium to 300% and use the procedure planning and permits. Central to the intention was to ensure fairness, and that good quality affordable housing was accessible to all whilst the owners of second homes made a fair and effective contribution to the communities where the property is being purchased.


Cabinet Members attention was drawn to the recommendations as set out in the report.  A correction should be made to the recommendation about second homes, to be correct, the recommendation in terms of the premium was that to consider raising a premium of either 50% or 100% on Second Homes.


It was noted that Carmarthenshire had circa 2,300 empty houses at any given time.  In addition, under the new provision, a long-term vacant house was a dwelling that had been empty and with minimal furniture for a continuous period of at least one year. There are around 1,300 such houses in Carmarthenshire.  The challenges in dealing with such properties were wide and varied with much of the responsibility for trying to tackle these problems falling on local authorities.  Whilst the Local Authority had the responsibility and the legal powers to bring empty houses back into use, it was not practical or desirable in all cases.


It was reported that raising Council Tax Premiums on Vacant Properties and Second Homes was one option available to the Authority in order to manage the situation locally.  However, due consideration must be given to the statutory duties to carry out equality impact assessments under the Equality Act 2010 and the Public Sector Equality Duties of Wales 2011, and all other relevant considerations.


In addition, contacting and consulting key stakeholders, including the local electorate, before deciding whether to raise a premium in either case should be considered.




12.1    Conduct a consultation and impact assessment on introducing council tax premiums on empty properties with a proposal that the following is introduced:


       50% for those which have been empty between 1 and 2 years;

       The level of premium would then increase to 100% for those properties which have been empty for 2 years up to 5 years;

       then a further increase to 200% for properties empty for 5 years or more;


12.2    Conduct a consultation and impact assessment on introducing council tax premiums on Second Homes/holiday homes with a proposal raising a premium of either 50% or 100% for all properties classified as a second home under Class B of the Council Tax (Prescribed Class of Dwelling) (Wales) Regulations 1998.

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