The Welsh Government is to bring in its promised local tax rules for holiday lets to address the problem of unaffordable housing.
Self-catering accommodation in hotspots such as Tenby (pictured) currently pays rates rather than council tax when available to let for at least 140 days, and ‘actually’ let for at least 70 days.
From next April, these thresholds will increase to being available to let for at least 252 days and ‘actually’ let for at least 182 days in any 12-month period, to prove that they are being let regularly and making a substantial contribution to the local economy.
The government has also announced that the maximum level at which local authorities can set council tax premiums on second homes and long-term empty properties will be increased to 300%, also effective from April next year.
Sian Gwenllian, the designed Member of the Senedd on the policy who represents Plaid Cymru (pictured) says these changes will make a difference, enabling councils to respond to their local circumstances, and will start to close the loophole in the current law.
“It’s a first, but important, step on a journey towards a new housing system that ensures that people have the right to live in their community,” she adds.
Gwenllian says that it is committed to introducing a package of measures to tackle the injustices in the housing market. “Second homes are a symptom of a wider problem – a market that treats property, not as a home, but as a way of making a profit.
By working across the parties in the Senedd, we will introduce more measures, as soon as we can, to make house prices and rents genuinely affordable for people.”