Council tax premiums for long term empty properties and second homes

From 1st April 2017, councils in Wales have been able to charge higher amounts (a premium), on top of the standard rate of council tax on long-term empty properties and second homes.

Definition of long-term empty property and second home

A long-term empty property is defined as a dwelling which is both unoccupied and substantially unfurnished for a continuous period of at least 1 year.

A second home is defined as a furnished property where no one lives - or the owner has a main home elsewhere.

We are considering whether to introduce a council tax premium on long-term empty properties and second homes, as part of an overall strategy to reduce the number of empty properties and increase local housing opportunities.  

We are currently reviewing how many properties in the borough would be subject to a council tax premium.

Any decision will be subject to public consultation and approval by councillors.

Why are the council considering introducing premiums?

The primary aim of the introduction of a premium, is essentially to bring long-term empty properties back into use, as part of our overall strategy to maximise the availability of good quality housing for our residents.  This will positively impact on reducing homelessness, while also reducing the number of long-standing empty properties which has a negative impact on our communities.

Torfaen County Borough Council’s approach, is to encourage owners to achieve this aim voluntarily and with assistance from the council, rather than through the instrument of charging a premium. However, should that not prove possible then the Council will have to consider the introduction of a premium.

My property is not a second home or long term empty property

If you feel that your property should not be liable to a premium as it is occupied as someone’s sole or main residence, you will need to complete the Council tax - notification of occupancy form, so we can update our records.

You will need to provide us with the full names of all adult occupiers, the date they moved in, as well as proof of residency (for example utility bills, tenancy agreement or driving license).

Help for long-term empty property owners

If you own a long-term empty property or second home, the council may be able to offer you some assistance in bringing your property back into use.

You could be eligible for an Owner Occupier Loan or Pontypool Home Improvement Loan.  Details of both these schemes can be found here - Home Improvement Loans.

The legislation

Last Modified: 26/03/2024
For more information contact:

Revenues & Benefits

Tel: 01495 766129


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