23 Aug 23

There are only a few days left for landlords to have input to a government consultation on council tax hikes for second homes and empty properties. 

The consultation centres on some elements of the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill, now going through parliament.

It proposes to give councils powers to levy council tax premium of 100 per cent on second homes, defined as those substantially furnished and with no permanent residents.

The bill also proposes new powers higher council tax on empty homes – dwellings “unoccupied and substantially unfurnished for a defined period”.  

Currently, the maximum levels of possible council tax premium that can be applied is: 

  • 100 per cent for properties empty between 2-5 years;
  • 200 per cent for properties empty between 5-10 years; 
  • 300 per cent for properties empty for 10+ years. 

The Bill wants 100 per cent premiums to be levied on homes empty for only one year.

However there are plenty of exemptions proposed for the council tax premiums:

  • The empty homes or second homes premiums should not apply to properties going under probate;
  • The empty homes or second homes premiums should not apply to properties being actively marketed for sale or let;
  • The empty homes premium should not apply to properties undergoing major repairs – however this is time limited to six months at most;
  • The second homes premium should not apply to annexes which form part of, or are treated as part of, the main dwelling;
  • The second homes premium should not apply to job-related dwellings;
  • The second homes premium should not apply to occupied caravan pitches and boat moorings;
  • The second homes premium should not apply to seasonal homes where year-round or permanent occupation is prohibited, or has been specified for use as holiday accommodation, or prevents occupancy as a person’s sole or main residence. 

The consultation is here and is open until August 31.

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