The Scottish Government has put proposals before Holyrood which would give local councils the discretion to charge Council Tax premiums of up to 100% on second homes, bringing them in line with long-term empty properties. If approved, the new measures could come into force by April 2024.
Despite push back from the industry in Wales and Scotland, the UK Government continues to progress their proposals to introduce and increase council tax premiums on second and empty homes in England. In our response to the consultation, Propertymark presented a range of exemptions that we urge decision-makers to consider.
The All-Party Parliamentary Groups (APPGs) for Ending Homelessness and Housing Market and Housing Delivery has produced a report on Rethinking Commercial to Residential Conversions following an inquiry to explore the potential challenges during planning to occupation.
Responding to the Scottish Government’s consultation on the increasing council tax premiums for second and empty homes, Propertymark’s members are strongly against this approach, especially for second homes, and it is recommended homeowners should be incentivised to bring empty homes back into use.
The Scottish Government want to understand how they can help councils make the best use of existing housing in their area, including managing the numbers of short-term lets, and second and long-term empty homes, where these are causing local housing issues.
Responding to an All-Party Parliamentary Group inquiry about understanding the feasibility of converting empty commercial property into affordable housing, Propertymark believes there is potential, however, warns of several obstacles to a wide-scale programme of conversions.
Showing support for National Empty Homes Week, which runs from 27 February to 5 March, Propertymark continues lobbying on the issue of restoring thousands of empty homes in the UK, with our campaign work contributing to the Welsh Government's National Empty Homes Grant Scheme announcement.
Propertymark campaigning helps lead to the Welsh Government's announcement of a National Empty Homes Grant scheme that will run over the next two years and see up to 2,000 long-term empty properties brought back into use.
Calls for a planning system that is community and environmentally led whilst supporting levelling up across the country were heard at Westminster Hall debate put forward by Bob Seely, the Member of Parliament for the Isle of Wight.
Putting local communities at the forefront is the next step for the Bill, with the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLHUC) announcing housing targets are to remain but are a starting point with new flexibilities to reflect local circumstances.
Showing support for National Empty Homes Week, 28 February to 6 March, Propertymark has written to the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities wanting action on empty homes to bolster much-needed supply in the private rented sector and for those looking to move house or get on the housing ladder.
The Scottish Government’s Coronavirus (Recovery and Reform) Bill proposes to make all eighteen grounds for possession discretionary on a permanent basis, as well as retain pre-action protocols relating to rent arrears.
Changes, announced 14 January 2022, are set to target homeowners who leave properties empty rather than letting out to holidaymakers.
The Welsh Government have embarked on a three-pronged approach to tackle what many are calling a ‘second homes crisis’ in some areas across Wales.
The Act, which was first passed in 2016, represents the biggest change to housing law in Wales for decades. It increases protections for tenants and contract-holders through the introduction of a single, clear framework.
The Welsh Parliament’s Local Government and Housing Committee recently invited views on what the priorities of the committee should be during the Sixth Senedd with emphasis on priority areas to be addressed.