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Council Tax Premiums for Long-Term Empty Properties and Second Homes.

Bridgend County Borough Council has approved the introduction of a Council Tax Premium on long-term empty properties commencing on 1 April 2023 and on second homes commencing on 1 April 2024. A long-term empty dwelling is defined as a dwelling which is both unoccupied and substantially unfurnished for a continuous period of at least one year. A second home is defined as a dwelling which is not a person’s sole or main home and is substantially furnished.

From 1 April 2023, long-term empty properties in Bridgend will be subject to a Council Tax charge of 200 per cent of the annual council tax charge for the first two years, after which the charge will increase to 300 per cent of the annual charge.

From 1 April 2024, all second homes will be subject to a council tax charge of 200 per cent, the annual charge for the first two years after which the charge will increase to 300 per cent of the annual charge.

The discretion given to local authorities to charge a premium is intended to be a tool to help councils to:

  • bring long-term empty homes back into use to provide safe, secure, and affordable homes
  • support local authorities in increasing the supply of affordable housing and enhancing the sustainability of local communities

Certain exemptions apply for unoccupied properties such as:

  • where the resident is in long-term residential care or hospital;
  • where a dwelling is being structurally repaired (for up to one year);
  • where the resident has died (for up to six months after grant of probate or letters of administration)

Are there any exceptions to the premium?

There are some exceptions to the premium that may apply from 1 April 2023. These are listed below:

  • Class 1 - dwellings being marketed for sale or where an offer to buy the dwelling has been accepted - this exception is time-limited for one year;
  • Class 2 - dwellings being marketed for let - this exception is time-limited for one year;
  • Class 3 - annexes forming part of, or being treated as part of, the main dwelling;
  • Class 4 - dwellings which would be someone's sole or main residence if they were not residing in armed forces accommodation;
  • Class 5 - occupied caravan pitches and boat moorings (second homes only);
  • Class 6 - dwellings where by virtue of a planning condition, year-round or permanent occupation is prohibited or has been specified for use as short-term holiday accommodation only or prevents occupancy as a person’s sole or main residence (second homes only);
  • Class 7 - job-related dwellings (second homes only)

If you believe you are eligible for an exception listed above, please e-mail: premiums@bridgend.gov.uk with the relevant information.

If you would like to work with the council in order to bring your property back into full-time use, we can potentially assist you. You can find details of this help on the empty properties webpage: https://www.bridgend.gov.uk/residents/housing/empty-properties/

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