Tackling empty properties to address housing need

The 50% Council Tax discount for unoccupied and unfurnished homes could be removed in Cardiff if a review of current council tax charges is agreed.

In a bid to get empty homes back into use, the 50% Council Tax discount for unoccupied and unfurnished homes could be removed, helping tackle the growing demand for housing in the city. The Cardiff Council Labour administration will consider a recommendation to remove the discount at its next meeting this week (15th November).

There are currently more than 3,400 empty homes in the city and 857 of those have been vacant for more than 12 months.

As Cardiff continues to grow and with increasing need for housing, it’s essential the council does everything it can to not only ensure people have decent places to live but also to enhance the sustainability of local communities. By removing current discounts and considering applying a council tax premium for properties that have been empty for more than a year, Cardiff Council hopes to bring more homes into use, reducing their negative impact on communities and helping increase the availability of decent homes for people who need them.

Cabinet will also discuss a recommendation to carry out public consultation on applying council tax premiums for long-term empty dwellings. Under the Housing (Wales) Act 2014, councils can apply a premium of up to 100% on top of the standard rate of council tax to long-term empty homes.

If approved, the 50% council tax discount granted to unoccupied and unfurnished dwellings would be discontinued with effect from March 31, 2019.

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