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Second and holiday homes charges

New second home charge

Long-term empty properties (unoccupied and substantially unfurnished) are already charged a council tax premium. From 1 April 2025, Chichester District Council has decided to charge second and holiday homes an additional council tax charge (second home premium). 

Second and holiday homes are properties that are not classed as anyone's main residence, but, that are substantially furnished.

A premium is an additional amount of council tax to be paid on top of the standard council tax bill and the law has changed and has allowed local authorities to apply a premium for holiday/second homes.

Chichester District Council has agreed a premium of 100% to be added to the council tax charge for second and holiday homes. This was approved at a meeting of full council held on 19 March 2024. 

Charge exceptions

There are some exceptions to the second home premium. The government will legislate to bring the exceptions stated into effect before the 2025-26 financial year and issue guidance in due course. These exceptions includes:

  • Properties undergoing probate - Where six months after the date of probate has elapsed. The exception from the second home premium will last for 12 months.
  • Properties being actively marketed for sale or let - A 12-month exception to the second home premium applies to properties that are actively marketed for sale or let. The exception would run from when the exception first applies until the end of the exception period or until the property is no longer actively marketed, sold, or let (whichever is sooner). 
  • Annexes forming part of, or being treated as part of, the main dwelling -  An exception to the second homes premium for annexes which form part of a single property which includes at least one other dwelling. The exception will not apply to annexes where they are not being used as part of the main residence.  
  • Job related dwellings - The second homes premium does not apply to job-related dwellings. This exception will not apply to cases where someone chooses to have an additional property to be closer to work while having a family home elsewhere or where an individual is posted to a new location but maintain their previous address. 
  • Occupied caravan pitches and boat moorings - A pitch occupied by a caravan and a mooring occupied by a boat are an exception to the second homes premium. 
  • Seasonal homes where year-round or permanent occupation is prohibited or has been specified use - Where properties have planning restrictions or other conditions on occupation or use in place which prevent year-round occupation are an exception to the second homes premium.

A person is considered to be living in a property for council tax purposes if it is their sole or main residence. If a person only has one home, then this is a straightforward decision as this would be their sole residence. However, when a person has more than one home, we have to decide which property is considered to be their main residence for council tax purposes.

Sole or main residence is not defined within the council tax legislation, but some of the factors we take into account when deciding are:

  • Which property you consider to be your main residence.
  • Where your spouse/partner or family lives, if you have one.
  • Where your children are educated (if you have children of school age).
  • Where your employment is based.
  • Whether you ultimately intend to return to one property.
  • Where the majority of your personal belongings are kept.
  • Which address you have declared to your home insurance provider as being your main residence.
  • Security of tenure at each property (owner, tenant, license to occupy).
  • Where you are registered to vote.
  • Where you are registered for your GP.
  • The address you have declared to DVLC & your motor insurance provider as being your main residence.

If your property has been classed as a second or holiday home the 100% second home premium will be added to your council tax account from 1 April 2025.

We will be reviewing all properties that we have listed as a second or holiday home. If there are changes in your circumstances you will be required to complete an online review form. You may be asked to provide supporting evidence to verify that your property within the Chichester district is no longer your second or holiday home. One of our taxation visiting officers may also visit your property to verify the information provided by you on a review form.

If we have classed your property as a second or holiday home  and you disagree with this decision then you can appeal against your property being placed in this class

Apply for a second / holiday home review

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