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Double council tax approved for second-homeowners

Sunday, 25 February 2024 16:28

By Will Goddard, local democracy reporter

File image of properties in the Beacon, Exmouth (image courtesy: LDRS)

East Devon surcharge to start next year

Second-homeowners can expect their council tax bills to double in East Devon from April next year.  

Empty properties are not safe either, as the district council has also agreed to reduce the amount of time properties have been bare before it charges twice the amount of council tax from two years to one. 

The new rules come thanks to the Levelling Up and Regeneration Act 2023. It allows councils to charge double council tax on properties that are “substantially furnished” but no-one’s sole or main residence.   

They can also now define a property as empty after just 12 months of it being unoccupied and unfurnished and can charge 100 per cent on top of the normal council tax bill or more, based on how long it has been vacant.  

The changes will affect almost 3,000 second homes and over 200 properties that have been empty for between one and two years.   

The council hope the measures will allow more properties to be brought back into use for the local community.    

East Devon District Council will ringfence funds raised by the extra second homes charges to tackle housing challenges.  

Council tax bills are set to rise by £112.49 to £2,348.20 for an average band D property in the district from April this year.  

 

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