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Newport to consider council tax premium on empty homes

Newport (Adobe Stock)

Newport City Council’s cabinet is recommending that all members support a proposal to charge a council tax premium of 100 per cent on long-term empty properties and second homes.

Most local authorities in Wales have already introduced a council tax premium. Councils are allowed to charge up to 300 per cent.

A consultation on a proposed charge found that 76 per cent of 470 responses were in favour of the council doing more to tackle the problem of vacant homes.

More than half supported the introduction of a council tax premium with only around a third disagreeing. The most popular level of premium among those who responded was 100 per cent.

The consultation also asked for people’s views on properties that should be exempted from a premium.

Cabinet’s recommendation to full council is that a council tax premium of 100 per cent for long-term empty properties and second homes should be introduced from 1 April 2024.

As a result of the consultation, cabinet is also proposing additional local exemptions to the statutory ones already in place. These are:

  • New owners of previously long-term empty properties would not have to pay a premium for three months or up to six months if major building work is being carried out.
  • No premium on properties that area attached to a business and have no separate entrance.

Councillor Jane Mudd, leader of Newport City Council, said: “I would like to thank all those who took part in the consultation and gave such valuable feedback. We have listened and have included extra exemptions in our recommendation to full council.

“A council tax premium will be another tool in our strategy to tackle the issue of long-term empty residential properties in the city. There is a lot of pressure on housing and we are committed on bringing vacant dwellings back into beneficial use.

“Owners and landlords can get support and advice from our dedicated empty homes team about turning their empty houses into homes.”