Second homes

Advice about council tax and second homes.

If you own or spend time at more than one property, you will need to pay council tax for each property. You can usually only claim a council tax discount for a property which is your main residence.

What does 'main residence' mean?

There is no definition for what ‘main residence’ means within council tax law. A number of cases have been before the High Court and the judges’ decisions in those cases have given councils guidelines to follow.

A person does not necessarily have to be physically present at an address all the time for it to be their main residence. We have to look into the circumstances at each address.

The things we have to take into account are:

  • the reasons why you have two addresses
  • where your partner or family lives, if you have one
  • where you keep most of your belongings
  • whether you intend to return to one address eventually

Contact us so that we can establish which property is your main residence.

Job-related second homes

If you are living in a second home because of your job, we may be able to award a 50% discount. Please contact us to discuss your situation.

Empty second homes

No discount applies to empty properties unless they are unoccupied and unfurnished for seven days or less (different rules apply for properties with annexes). If this applies, let us know.


If a single property contains two or more dwellings, the ‘annexe’ may qualify for a 50% discount if:

  • it is occupied by a relative of the person liable for the main dwelling, or
  • it is being used (but not lived in) by a resident of the main dwelling – this dwelling must be their sole or main residence

For further information and to apply for the discount, please download, complete and return the claim form to:

Leeds City Council
P.O. Box 60

Exemptions for annexes

An exemption will apply if an annexe is either:

  • occupied by a dependant relative (aged 65 or over, or severely mentally impaired, or substantially and permanently disabled)
  • unoccupied and cannot be let separately because of planning conditions

If an exemption is granted no council tax will be payable for the annexe. Please contact us to discuss your situation.

Register for or cancel council tax to your second home

If you have bought or sold a property that is not your main residence, let us know.

Contact us


0113 222 4404
(Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm)

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