Issue - meetings

Council Tax Premiums on Second Homes & Empty Properties

Meeting: 15/12/2022 - Cabinet (Item 183)

183 Council Tax Premiums on Second Homes & Empty Properties pdf icon PDF 239 KB

To determine options for proposed changes to Council Tax premiums as included within the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill which, subject to this Bill receiving Royal Assent prior to 31 March 2023, are due to become effective from 1 April 2024.


The cabinet member finance, corporate services and planning introduced the report. She explained that, subject to the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill receiving Royal Assent, any changes to introduce additional Council Tax premiums needed to be confirmed at least 12 months ahead of their implementation. If the proposals in the report were approved they would be put to Council in the forthcoming budget information and included in the Medium Term Financial Strategy. The proposals would see additional premiums take effect from 1 April 2024 for second homes and properties that had stood empty for a period of between 1 and 2 years.


Cabinet members noted a persistent concern that Herefordshire residents struggled to buy and rent affordable housing. The use of council tax premiums was a tool to encourage owners of empty properties to bring them into use. Cabinet members also noted in discussion that:

·       Properties let as holiday rentals generate income for the local economy;

·       Similar premiums were in place in Wales and the data could be examined to judge the effectiveness and impact these measures;

·       It was estimated that implementation of these measures could provide up to £12m in additional income for the council;

·       Many second homes were in rural communities where demand for housing was high;

·       Any income generated would be part of the council tax revenue and it would be at the council’s discretion as to how it was spent.


Group leaders gave the views and queries of their groups. In response to queries raised it was confirmed that:

·       The council had good data on the number of properties these premiums might apply to, partly as a result of applications for covid grants;

·       There was a grace period for empty properties but this was not very long as the council was actively trying to bring empty properties into use;

·       There was already a premium for properties that had been empty for over 2 years, the longer the property was empty the greater the premium;

·       The Act would give the option to the council so it would have the choice whether to implement it or not.




It was resolved that:


Cabinet recommends that the following additional Council Tax premiums be applied from 1 April 2024, subject to the referenced legislation being approved:

·       100% premium for second homes;

·       100% premium for properties which have been empty and unfurnished for a period of between 1 and 2 years.