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Council Tax Premiums

In accordance with section 12a & 12b of the Local Government Finance Act 1992, as inserted by Section 139 Housing (Wales) Act 2014, the Council has determined to charge Council Tax premiums as detailed below:

Premium- Long-term empty properties

If the property is empty, and contains no furniture, it will be exempt for the first 6 months from the date the house became unfurnished. Once this period has finished no discount will be allowed and a full council tax charge will be payable. 

If it remains empty after a further 6 months (that is 12 months from the date it was emptied), Section 12A of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 provides a discretionary provision to councils to raise a “premium” of up to 300% on long term empty properties.

At the Full Council meeting held on the 8 March 2023 it was determined to charge a Council Tax premium of 100% for the financial year 2023/2024.  

Premium- Periodically occupied properties

A second home is defined as a dwelling that is substantially furnished and is not the owner’s or occupier’s sole or main residence. It is referred to in legislation as a dwelling occupied occasionally.

Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council’s current policy is not to award any discounts to owners of second homes. At present, second homeowners are liable for 100% Council Tax (i.e. the standard rate), and this will continue until the 31st March 2024.

At the Full Council meeting held on the 8 March 2023 it was determined to charge a Council Tax premium of 100% for the financial year 2023/2024.

On 2 March 2022,  Welsh Government published the outcome of a consultation on Local taxes for second homes and self-catering accommodation, In relation to the maximum level at which local authorities can set council tax premiums on second homes and long-term empty properties, new legislation introduced, effective from 1 April 2023, allowing the premium to increase up to 300%. Full details of the outcomes of the consultation and the proposed changes to be introduced by Welsh Government can be found at

Premium Exceptions

There are exceptions from paying the premiums on long term empty and second homes and these are listed below:

  • Class 1 - Dwellings being marketed for sale - time-limited for one year
  • Class 2 - Dwellings being marketed for let - time-limited for one year
  • Class 3 - Annexes forming part of, or being treated as part of, the main dwelling
  • Class 4 - Dwellings which would be someone's sole or main residence if they were not residing in armed forces
  • Class 5 - Occupied caravan pitches and boat moorings
  • Class 6 - Planning condition prohibits year-round or permanent occupation, or specifies use as holiday accommodation only.
  • Class 7 - Job-related dwellings
  • Class 8 – Local Exception for New owners bringing the property back into use & Composite Properties

If you require further information on Council Tax Premiums please contact the Revenues Section by email at or phone 01685 725000.

Empty Homes – what help is available

If you have an empty home and wish to make use of it but want help, please contact Melissa Clee in the Environmental Health Department on 01685 725000 for further advice

Further guidance on Council Tax on empty and second homes Council Tax on empty and second homes | GOV.WALES