With effect from 1st April 2019, Cardiff Council are scrapping the 50% council tax discount currently awarded to properties that are unoccupied and unfurnished for more than six months. Such properties will now be subject to the full council tax charge once the statutory six-month full exemption has lapsed.
This means that if you own a property that has been unoccupied and unfurnished for more than six months and you’re currently benefiting from the 50% discount that comes with it, it will soon be removed.
Additionally, following a public consultation exercise, the Council will now apply a 50% premium on properties that have been unoccupied and unfurnished for more than 12 months, meaning a council tax charge of 150%. This is because the Council are keen to encourage homes being brought back into use. They say the additional revenue generated from the premium will be used to help meet local housing needs.
So the charges from 1st April 2019 will be as follows;
0-6 months: Nil (statutory exemption)
6-12 months: 100% charge (previously 50%)
12+ months: 150% charge (previously 50%)
To avoid paying council tax completely, owners can have their property removed from the register if it's undergoing renovation and extensive enough to be deemed uninhabitable. This is done via the Valuation Office Agency (VOA). The property must be relisted once it's back in a fit state, which may mean the VOA recalculate its rateable value for the future. It’s the rateable value that council tax charges are based on.