Around 3,000 second homes in East Devon set to see council tax cost double

Council tax costs for around 3,000 second homes in East Devon are set to double from April next year.  

And empty properties in the district are not safe from a bill hike either, writes Local Democracy Reporter Will Goddard.

New rules under the Levelling Up and Regeneration Act 2023 allow local authorities to double council tax costs on properties that are ‘substantially furnished’ but are not a sole or main residence.

East Devon District Council (EDDC) has also agreed that it can now define a property as ’empty’ after one year of it being unoccupied and unfurnished – when it was previously two.

The council can then charge 100 per cent on top of the normal council tax bill or more, based on how long the property has been vacant.

The changes will affect almost 3,000 second homes and over 200 properties that have been empty for between one and two years.

EDDC hopes the measures will allow more properties to be brought back into use for local communities.

The authority will ring-fence funds raised by the extra second homes charges to tackle housing challenges.

Council tax bills are set to rise by £112.49 to £2,348.20 for an average band D property in the district from April this year.

East Devon second home owners face a council tax bill hike amid new ‘double charge’ powers