Prioritising homes for living in

Published 08 September 2023

Council tax premium on second homes.

Local authorities will be able to charge a premium of up to 100% on council tax for second homes under legislation aiming to increase the availability of housing.

If approved by Parliament, the secondary legislation would bring second homes into line with long-term empty homes, which can already be subject to a 100% premium on the full rate of council tax. Latest figures show that as at September 2022 there were 24,287 second homes in Scotland.

Second and long-term empty homes are subject to a default 50% discount on council tax. However, local authorities can vary council tax charges and the majority already charge second home-owners the full rate of council tax, the maximum currently permitted.

If approved, the new measures are expected to come into force by April 2024.

The legislation, which was subject to a public consultation this year, is a Programme for Government 2023 commitment. It also delivers on the Scottish Government’s Housing to 2040 strategy and Bute House Agreement with the Scottish Green Party, which include commitments to give councils power to make the best use of housing stock in their areas, including second homes.


Consultation on council tax for second and empty homes, and non-domestic rates thresholds

Housing statistics: Empty properties and second homes

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