VALE of Glamorgan Council has reaffirmed its commitment to levy council tax premiums on empty and second homes.

Since the local authority brought in the premium last year, the number of long-term empty homes subject to a premium in the county has gone from 528 to 392.

Properties which have been identified by the council as having been empty for 24 months from April 1, 2024 will receive a 150 per cent council tax premium.

Council cabinet members also agreed to reaffirm the policy of introducing a 100 per cent premium on second homes for the 2024/25 financial year.

Speaking at the meeting on Thursday, December 14, leader of Vale of Glamorgan Council, Cllr Lis Burnett, said: “This policy, the whole purpose of it is to bring properties into use for people in the Vale who need homes.

“We have a sizeable shortfall in the availability of homes for people in the Vale and so it is only right that we should do everything we can to encourage… those properties to come back into use for people.

“We are going to continue with this policy.”

A public consultation was carried out in 2022 on the council’s proposal to bring in a council tax premium.

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 owners of 930 properties which were directly affected by the proposals were also invited to take part in the consultation, which ran from December 5, 2022 to January 6, 2023.

From April 2023, 100 per cent premiums were introduced on properties which had been empty for a minimum of 12 months.

At the time it was suggested that this premium be increased to 150 per cent from April 1, 2024 and again to 200 per cent from April 1, 2025.

Barry And District News: Second home owner in the Vale? You could be about to see a big bill coming your way...Second home owner in the Vale? You could be about to see a big bill coming your way... (Image: Google Maps)

When the policy was brought in last year, 402 second homes were initially identified as being eligible to be subject to a premium.

The current figure is 508, but the council said it expects this number to decrease as has happened with long-term empty properties.

In a report on the council tax premium, the council said the decrease in empty homes, from when the policy was agreed in March 2023 to now, is down to the exceptions put in place in regulation and the properties being brought back into use.

Properties exempt from the council tax premium include those occupied only by students, severely mentally impaired persons, under 18s and annexes occupied by a dependent relative.

Other properties which are exempt include those left empty by someone in prison, someone who has moved to receive personal care in hospital or someone who has moved in order to provide personal care.

The premiums will be reviewed again next year and any proposed changes will be brought before cabinet members and the council.