LANDLORDS with unoccupied homes in the Vale may have to start paying more council tax from April in a move which could affect more than 1,000 properties.

Vale of Glamorgan Councillors will later this month be asked to approve plans to remove the current 50 per cent council tax discounts for unoccupied properties or second homes.

The move, affecting 1,395 properties, would mean long-term empty homes would have to make full payments of council tax.

The council says the discounts would cost it more than £1 million if they continued.

A full council meeting on February 28 will decide whether to remove the discount from April 1.

From a consultation of 145 responses, 11 were supportive of the council’s preferred option of removing the discounts while 126 of the responses were in favour of maintaining the current status quo.

Landlords told the council they opposed the plans due to the lack of services used by the empty properties and that they have second homes due to the death of a relative or due to work commitments.

But the council’s cabinet wants to remove the discount to increase the authority’s coffers and also “due to the many positive impacts that can be achieved by bringing empty properties back into use”.

These include providing much-needed housing for the Vale and to discourage opportunities for fly-tipping and antisocial behaviour, the council says.

The change would affect unoccupied properties in classes A, B and C under Council Tax Regulations.

Class A and B properties are unoccupied and furnished. Class A relates to properties which have a legal restriction on occupancy for a period of at least 28 days in any 12-month period, whereas Class B properties have no such restriction.

Class C properties are unoccupied and substantially unfurnished for more than six months.

On January 17 this year 58 properties fell within Class A, 557 properties fell within Class B, and, 780 properties were Class C.

Empty properties which are unoccupied and unfurnished are initially exempt from council tax altogether for up to six months. This would not change as part of the proposals.