PROPERTY owners in Glasgow who leave homes lying ­empty face a major hike in their council tax bills, in an attempt to make it less attractive for houses and flats to be left unoccupied.

Currently, the city council gives a 50% discount for properties which have been ­lying empty for some time. But this week, councillors will be asked to slash the discount to 10%.

Owners will be faced with increases in council tax bills of between £324 and £971 a year depending on the council tax band of the property.

Regulations define short-term vacancies as less than 12 months.

More than 3100 houses and flats in the city have been lying vacant for more than a year. Of those, 729 are owned by housing associations, 859 are privately owned, 1413 belong to private landlords and 130 to other landlords.

Lynn Brown, the city council's executive finance director, said: "Glasgow is currently the only Scottish council that affords 50% discount on long-term empty properties. While this is beneficial for landlords and owners of long-term unoccupied property, it reduces the amount that can be reinvested into housing development and may not provide enough of an incentive for landlords to bring properties back into use."

Glasgow Housing Association has around 370 empty properties.

Hazel Young, policy director at GHA's parent company Wheatley Group, said: "We know there's a huge demand for affordable homes in the city. We support plans which will help bring empty homes in Glasgow back into use and increase the supply of new-build social housing."