Council Tax Second Home Consultation
Consultation on potential second homes Council Tax premium
Darlington Borough Council is consulting on potential changes to the amount of Council Tax that is charged on second homes. A second home is defined as a dwelling that is not a person’s sole or main home and is substantially furnished. These might include dwellings that are used as a holiday home or an inherited property which isn’t the owner’s main residence.
The Regeneration and Levelling Up Bill will introduce a new power for Local Authorities to increase Council Tax on second homes by 100% (double the amount owners currently pay). The Bill is due to receive Royal Assent and it is expected that Local Authorities will be able to charge the higher premium from the 1 April 2024 (although this is likely to be 1 April 2025 in Darlington). Councils can decide the level which is appropriate for their individual local circumstances and can set the premium at any level up to the maximum.
Approximately 200 homes in Darlington are classed as second homes and it is thought these properties can add to house price inflation and put local people at a disadvantage when existing homes come on the market. The Council Tax Premium for second homeowners may encourage them to sell their properties or may discourage future buyers wanting to purchase existing traditional homes as second homes.
The Council is consulting residents on the proposal to introduce the Council Tax Premium on second homes that are no one’s sole or main home and have been so for more than a year.
Certain time limited exceptions to the premium may be available. For example, for owners who are experiencing a particular legal or technical issue which is preventing the sale or letting of the property.
If you are an owner of a second home, we would like to understand more about your views and the impact you feel second homes have on the community. We would also like to understand the views of local people affected by second homes and the views of the wider housing sector.
Please note, the Council Tax Premium on second homes does not apply to holiday lets that are charged business rates, such as those advertised on Airbnb. If you own a second home that is available as a holiday rental for 140 days or more and actually let for 70 days in the calendar year, it should be valued for holiday let business rates and not Council Tax. These holiday let properties will not be subject to the Council Tax Premium. Further information on the assessment of self-catering and holiday let accommodation can be found in the link below: