Council Tax changes to second homes and holiday properties in Gwynedd


As of April 2018, anybody who owns a second home or a holiday property in Gwynedd, North Wales, will see their council tax bill increase by 50%.

Gwynedd Council is one of a number of county councils in Wales who have decided to increase the amount of council tax they will levy on ‘long-term empty’ properties.

The Welsh Local Government Association said it means that second homes can now make a ‘fair contribution’ to the community.

There are 5,000 second homes in Gwynedd (the highest proportion anywhere in Wales) and 1,000 long term empty properties. This, says the council, is inflating house prices and putting property ownership out of the reach of local people.

However, some councillors have warned that the new council tax increase may see property owners attempt to avoid paying the additional council tax. The council acknowledges that there are ‘exceptions’ in the regulations where the premium cannot be raised.

For example, if an owner transfers the rating designation of their property to ‘self-catering unit’ which is commercially let for holidays, they would pay business rates to the UK Treasury rather than council tax to the local authority.

Evidently, that would have potentially unintended negative consequences for the council’s net income.

In Wales, in order to have their property rated as a ‘self-catering unit’ and valued for business rates, second home owners must make their property available to let for 140 days or more per year and then let it for a minimum of 70 days.

The rules in England and Wales are slightly different – you can find more information on the UK Government’s website here.

If you do not intend to let your property as defined above then expect your council tax bill to change substantially from 1st April 2018.

It’s worth reading Gwynedd Council’s online guide to the new council tax charges, which includes detail about definitions and exemptions.

If you’d like to talk to our expert team about how the changes will affect your property, or to find out more about registering for business rates, just give us a call on +44 1341 241700 or email enquiries@baileysandpartners.co.uk.

6 Comments

  1. Grossly unfair and this will result in a local recession as holiday home owners will revolt against the increased and not engaged the services of local tradespeople.!

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  2. It is a pity that in reaching this decision Gwynedd County Council did not follow the guidelines issued by the Welsh office and have not collected the data to show that holiday homes are actually inflating house prices and there is actually a demand for affordable housing in those areas where many holiday homes are situated. The attitude of councillors seems to be “if you can afford a holiday home you can afford to pay more council tax”.

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  3. Trick is register one person as living there the second home is usually owned by a family so put one in the property and claim single person discount. So instead of them getting 150% or 100% they get 75% very fair considering that they are just thieves.

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  4. Completely unjustified.
    Second home owners don’t use education services or care homes and social services, which are some of the most expensive elements of the councils budget.
    As well as the fact that council services, for tourism and for rubbish disposal are extremely poor in my area,

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  5. i have owned a second home in mid wales for 15 years. it is only used by me and my family and is not let out to anybody. i have always supported the local community and visit every 2-3 weeks. for this reason i am being charged 100% extra council tax. i have visited wales all of my life and will now have to sell the property. i will never visit wales ever again.

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  6. We are on a fixed income and need to get the extra money from somewhere so we are going to stop eating out.Who wins?
    We dont use the local services.Cant even use our bus passes and dont get a vote!
    How fair is that?

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