Amended charges approved for second homes in Scottish Borders

Amended charges approved for second homes in Scottish Borders

Changes to Council Tax charges on second homes throughout the Scottish Borders have been approved.

Scottish Borders Council said the charges will provide additional income in the region of £1.5 million to continue to deliver local services

The change is expected to positively impact local communities and help meet housing needs across the Borders.

A second home is defined as one that is furnished and occupied for at least 25 days in a 12-month period but is not someone’s primary residence. As of October, there were approximately 1055 such homes in the Scottish Borders.

The new 200% Council Tax rate seeks a fair contribution from second homeowners for local services as well as looking to encourage owners to consider their properties for the housing supply in the region.

Properties which are being repaired or renovated will continue to be eligible for relief where it is less than 12 months since the property was last lived in. A relief for properties that have been newly purchased which require work to bring it back into use has been created and those that meet the definition of purpose-built holiday homes or job-related dwellings will continue to receive the same relief as before.

Councillor Mark Rowley, executive member for service delivery and transformation, said: “Although we know that second homes can benefit local communities, they can also restrict the supply of housing and increase costs for those that want to rent or buy.

“The amended charges can assist in providing revenue for essential services to those who need them most, whilst enabling the transition of more homes to full-time occupation.”

The new policy will take effect from 1 April 2024.

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