Second homes and furnished properties that are not a main residence, and premium

This refers to furnished and unoccupied properties except:

  • unoccupied caravans
  • dwellings which are furnished but unoccupied because the owner is liable to a Council Tax elsewhere in job-related accommodation 
  • dwellings which are unoccupied because the liable person is the personal representative of the deceased former occupier and where less than 12 months have elapsed since grant of probate or Letters of Administration were obtained;
  • armed forces personnel who are required to live in accommodation provided by the Ministry of Defence to perform the duties of their office.

 Section 12B of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 provides a discretionary provision to councils to raise a “premium” of no more than 100% on second homes (class B – properties with no occupation restriction). Note that what is defined here is a dwelling where there is no resident, and the dwelling is substantially furnished.

The Act does not provide for differentiation on the basis of where the owner lives or if the dwelling is used for holiday purposes.

Gwynedd Council has raised a premium of 50% on second homes (class B) since 1 April 2018.

Further to this, Gwynedd Council have now decided on 4 March 2021 that the premium would be increased to 100% on second homes effective from 1 April 2021.

 You can see more information on this decision here.

 The Act also has a provision that specifies classes of exemptions where the raising of a Council Tax premium is prohibited, and these are listed below.


Classes of Dwellings Defninition 
 Class 1 Dwellings being marketed for sale - time-limited for one year 
 Class 2   Dwellings being marketed for let - time-limited for one year
 Class 3   Annexes forming part of, or being treated as part of, the main dwelling
 Class 4  Dwellings which would be someone's sole or main residence if they were not residing in Armed Forces accommodation
 Class 5   Occupied caravan pitches and boat moorings
 Class 6   Seasonal homes where year-round occupation is prohibited
 Class 7   Job-related dwellings

*The time limitation of one year for Class 1 and Class 2 is effective from the date the property is for sale or for let now, and that can therefore be before any premium effective date.

An additional 100% Council Tax Premium will be raised from 1 April 2021 on any property that is identified as a second homes or furnished unoccupied property, and where no exception is applied to it.

A premium of 50% will be raised for any period between 1 April 2018 and 1 April 2021.