Council tax bills for landlords with long-term unoccupied homes in the Vale of Glamorgan are set to double from April.

The Vale of Glamorgan council has agreed to remove 50% council tax discounts for unoccupied properties or second homes.

The move, which would affect 1,395 properties in the Vale, would mean homes would have to make full payments of council tax after six months of being empty.

Council leader John Thomas told a meeting on February 27: “Bringing empty homes back into use has many positive impacts for the property owner, the local neighbourhood the wider community and local economy.”

Councillors backed the removal of the discounts at that meeting.

The removal of the discounts will affect 780 long-term empty and unfurnished homes and 615 empty, funished properties.

A council report said the move would “would discourage owners from allowing their properties to remain empty for long periods and falling into disrepair, which in turn would support the council’s objectives of bringing empty homes back into use”.

Landlords told the council they opposed the plans due to the lack of services used by the empty properties and said they had second homes due to the death of a relative or due to work commitments.

Of a total of 145 responses to a consultation from people who benefit from the discounts, 11(11.3%) were supportive of the council’s preferred option of removing the discounts while 126 (92%) favoured maintaining the current status quo.

Empty properties which are unoccupied and unfurnished are initially exempt from council tax altogether for up to six months. This will not change as part of the proposals.