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Second home holiday lets face losing Council Tax exemption

Written by: Owain Thomas
Second homes which have been listed as holiday lets can be classified as domestic properties while they are occupied by owners during the coronavirus crisis, the government has confirmed.

The move could mean more owners will need to pay council tax on the properties instead of qualifying for the small business tax exemption.

Over the last two years second homes have been increasingly listed by owners as holiday lets to allow them to be considered for business rates rather than council tax.

This allows owners to use a small business rates exemption whereby if they would receive less than £12,000 of income during the year, they are excluded from all business rates.

The question was posed by Labour MP for Canterbury Rosie Duffield, who asked if the government would consider stopping holiday homes being counted as domestic properties when being used as a main residence for the Covid-19 outbreak.

Responding, housing minister Christopher Pincher said: “The government has no plans to exempt homes from being classified as domestic properties other than where they are being used for business purposes.

“Where a property is used for non-domestic purposes, it is for the Valuation Office Agency to determine whether it should be liable for council tax or business rates.”

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