If you have two homes, or two properties, you may have to pay Council Tax for both of them unless:
- an exemption applies, or
- somebody else has their sole or main residence in your other property.
You will have to pay the usual Council Tax for the property which is your main home. This will normally be either 100% or 75%, depending on how many people live there. In addition you may also have to pay the full amount of Council Tax for the second home or property.
Empty second homes or properties
As from 1 April 2014 where a property is unoccupied and unfurnished for a period of 7 days or less a discount of 100% can be granted. This means that no Council Tax is payable.
However, if the property is empty for over 7 days no discount can be allowed. Full Council Tax is payable from the date the property first became unoccupied and unfurnished.
For more information see the related page Empty properties and the Council Tax.
Second homes or Property empty for over 2 years
If a property has been empty for over 2 years then councils can apply a long term empty premium. Leeds City Council has decided to set a premium of 50%. This means that the rate of Council Tax payable for properties empty over 2 years is 150%.
Second homes or properties that are being refurbished
If you have a property which is in a poor state of repair, or undergoing substantial refurbishment work or structural alterations, the council must charge you for it unless the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) deletes it from the Council Tax list.
The VOA will only do this if it is derelict and uninhabitable, or if the work is substantial and the property is being rebuilt or structurally altered. The VOA has produced a document on this which outlines where it will or won't delete it from the list. See the External link section on this page.
Furnished second homes or a furnished unoccupied property
Until 1 April 2013, councils had to apply a minimum of 10% discount for a furnished property which was nobody’s main home.
Council Tax law changed so that councils are no longer obliged to grant any discount at all. From 1 April 2013, Leeds will award no discount for an unoccupied but furnished property.
If you own a furnished second home or property that is nobody’s main residence, you will usually be liable for the full Council Tax. However, if you are renting the property out to a tenant, in some circumstances the tenant will be liable - see the related page Rented properties and the Council Tax.