Denbighshire County Council recently held a public consultation on increasing the council tax premiums on long term empty homes and second homes.
The results demonstrate that the majority of respondents who live in Denbighshire felt there is a need for an increase in the council tax premium charges for both long term empty and second homes and so supporting the recommendation. Second homes and long term empty owners did not generally support the proposals, although there was slightly more support for a charge for long term empty properties.
The results were included in a report that was presented to Cabinet on 18th July 2023. At that meeting, Cabinet recommended that officers proceed with the next steps to take forward the proposals by taking a report to Full Council in September 2023.
The proposals support the Council’s Corporate Plan which aims to encourage home owners not to leave their properties empty and bring them back into use for the benefit of local Denbighshire communities and also their economies.
Although the Welsh Government has given powers for increases up to 300 percent, the proposals which will now go forward for consideration at Full Council are:
- Second home and long term empty premium charge will remain at 50 percent for April 2023 then increases to 100 percent from April 2024, then 150 percent from April 2025.
- Those properties that have been unoccupied and unfurnished for five years or more will pay a higher premium at 50 percent more than the standard Premium.
Cllr Rhys Thomas, Lead Member for Housing and Communities, said “We are fully aware of how much housing is needed in our local communities to support families who want to stay in the county and thus contribute to the local economies promoting growth and support for local culture.
“This scheme will help encourage these empty properties to become available again for local residents who will in turn add to sustaining and improving our county’s economic health.”