The Vale of Glamorgan Council yesterday voted to approve a 100 per cent council tax premium for long-term empty properties to be levied in 2023/24.
This will increase to a 150 per cent premium in 2024/25 and a 200 per cent premium in 2025/26.
Councillors also voted to approve a 100 per cent council tax premium for second homes which will be levied in 2024/25.
Vale of Glamorgan Council ward member for Sully, Cllr Kevin Mahoney said that whilst he understood a need to crack down on empty properties that “blight streets”, he felt there was a “degree of infringement of civil liberties” in relation to the proposal.
He added: “If I was in the economic position that I own two houses, which I stress yet again I am not, if I wish to live somewhere, six months here, six months there, who are the Vale of Glamorgan to be lecturing me?”
Cllr Mahoney also pointed out that the majority of respondents to a consultation on the proposed council tax premiums were opposed to it.
The owners of 930 properties which will be directly affected by the proposals were also invited to take part in the consultation, which ran from December 5, 2022 to January 6, 2023.
Out of the 385 responses that were received, 56.36 per cent were unsupportive of any change to the current policy and 40.8 per cent were in favour of a premium levy at some level.
The leader of the Vale of Glamorgan Council, Councillor Lis Burnett said: “I have no problems with people owning two houses, I have no problems with people owning three houses or more, but if they are not in productive use… then they should be prepared to make an additional contribution for that.”
According to the Vale of Glamorgan Council, there are 528 long-term empty properties and 402 properties classed as second homes in the county.
The potential revenue to be gained from the council tax premium on long-term empty properties in the Vale of Glamorgan is estimated to be £924,000.
The potential revenue to be gained from the premium on second homes is estimated to be £703,000.
Cllr Burnett said: “We know only too well that finding quality rented homes is becoming increasingly difficult with ever increasing prices incentivising landlords to sell and the ever widening gap between local housing allowance rate rents and market rents.
“There is an underlying shortage of housing in the Vale of Glamorgan, as I mentioned just earlier, of about 1,200 homes per year.
“While there are obvious financial benefits to this council in introducing such premiums… the prime aim is bringing homes back into use.”