If you have two homes, or two properties, you may have to pay for both of them, unless:
- an exemption applies
- somebody else has their sole or main residence in one of the properties
Empty second homes
From 1 April 2023, in the Westmorland and Furness Council area, properties which become unoccupied and substantially unfurnished will receive a 100% discount for the first six months.
This is a property based discount and it commences from when the property first became unoccupied and unfurnished, irrespective or any changes of ownership or tenants.
Council Tax discounts for uninhabitable and vacant properties
Those unoccupied and unfurnished for between three months and two years will have to pay the full Council Tax charge.
Second property empty for over two years
Once a property has been empty for over two years, a 'long-term empty premium' will be applied. From 1 April 2023, Westmorland and Furness Council has set the following premium charges:
|Duration properties have been empty||Previous payable||New premium||Date of effect|
|Properties unoccupied and unfurnished between 2 and 5 years||100% premium payable||200% Council Tax in total payable||With effect from 1 April 2023|
|Properties unoccupied and unfurnished between 5 and 10 years||200% premium payable||300% Council Tax in total payable||With effect fromm1 April 2023|
|Properties unoccupied and unfurnished over 10 years||300% premium payable||400% Council Tax in total payable||With effect from 1 April 2024|
These rates of Council Tax will be payable unless you qualify for an exception for the premium detailed within Council Tax Premium for empty properties.
Furnished second homes and unoccupied furnished properties
Westmorland and Furness Council will not offer a discount for an unoccupied furnished property. If you have a furnished second home that is nobody's main residence you have to pay the full Council Tax charge.
If you live in a particular property because of your job, different rules may apply. If your main residence is somewhere else, the job related home may qualify for a 50% discount. If it is your main residence, your other home may qualify for the discount.
Premium charge for furnished second homes and unoccupied furnished properties
The Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill is currently going through parliament and it includes proposals to allow the introduction of a new council tax premium on second homes of up to 100%.
Westmorland and Furness Council has agreed to introduce this premium from 1 April 2024, should the legislation pass.
We will provide further information about this premium and how it will be applied, when the legislation is passed.