THE COUNCIL is consulting on proposals to increase the council tax premium on long-term empty properties in Flintshire.

Flintshire County Council is undertaking a public consultation from April 15 to July 8 to provide all members of the public and interested parties the opportunity to have their say on the future of the Council Tax Premium Scheme. 

The consultation responses will help to shape the Council Tax Premium scheme in the future. People can take part in the consultation at

Local authorities in Wales have discretionary powers to charge, or vary, a council tax premium of up to 300 per cent above the standard rate of council tax on certain classes of second homes and long-term empty properties. Flintshire County Council introduced a premium scheme in 2017 and currently charges a council tax premium level of 75 per cent on long-term empty properties and 100 per cent on second homes.

There have been calls from councillors to increase the premium levels on long-term empty properties to 100 per cent in line with second homes. 

The premium is currently charged on properties that are not in use as someone`s sole or main residence due to either being:

A long-term empty property which is defined as one that has been empty and has had no resident for over 12 months; or a second home which is defined as a dwelling that is substantially furnished and occupied only periodically, for example a holiday home.

Not every property that falls into the categories above pays a premium and the scheme provides limited exceptions (some time-limited and some indefinite) where the premium would not apply.  The exceptions include properties being marketed for sale or let, annexes, and seasonal properties where year round occupation is prohibited.


The latest analysis of properties shows a total of 786 properties are currently subject to the premium charge, consisting of 616 long term empty properties and 170 second homes. This equates to 1.1 per cent of all domestic properties in Flintshire being liable for the premium charge. 

When considering whether or not to amend the premium levels, the discretion given to local authorities to charge a premium is intended to be a tool to help local authorities to:

Bring long-term empty homes back into use to provide safe, secure and affordable homes; and
Increase the supply of affordable housing and enhance the sustainability of local communities. 

Currently 17 local authorities in Wales, including Flintshire apply a premium scheme with the level of premium set by each authority varying from 50 per cent to 300 per cent. The council is now consulting with the public as part of the process of reviewing if the premium level should be changed in the future. 

A Flintshire Council spokesperson said: "We are committed to giving you the opportunity to have your say.

"The responses you provide are completely anonymous and the on-line questionnaire should only take a few minutes of your time to complete.  The consultation is open for a twelve week period and close at 5pm on July 8, 2024."