Landlords in Wales who rent out self-catering accommodation will no longer be able to dodge council tax under new and tighter rules announced by the Welsh government.
In its bid to crack down on the impact many holiday lets and second homes are having on communities and the Welsh language, properties let out as self-catering accommodation on an infrequent basis will be liable for council tax '� an average of �1,777 for a band D property.
Increased letting criteria will ensure that self-catering properties are classed as non-domestic, only if they are being used for business purposes for the majority of the year.
The number of days within any 12-month period that they will be required to be made available to let has been increased from 140 to 252 days, and actually let, from 70 to 182 days. The order will come into force on 14th June and take effect on 1st April 2023.
Rebecca Evans (pictured), Minister for Finance and Local Government, says she recognises that the stronger criteria might be challenging for some operators to meet.
'The purpose of the change is to help ensure property owners are making a fair contribution to local communities, for example by increasing their contribution to the local economy through greater letting activity or by paying council tax on their properties,'� adds Evans.
Restrictions are tightening elsewhere in the UK; earlier this year, the Scottish government announced that councils could devise their own licensing scheme for Airbnb-style properties by October, with all operators required to apply for a licence by 1st July 2024.
In England, second homes will need to be rented out for a minimum of 70 days per year to access small business rate relief, rather than paying council tax from April 2023. The government also confirmed that councils would soon have the power to double the standard council tax rate on any home left empty for longer than a year, rather than the current two years.