Owning a ‘second home’ in Perth & Kinross

23 January 2024 Property & Estate Agency Sharon Connolly

Perth & Kinross, renowned for its picturesque landscapes and historical charm, has long been an attractive destination for those seeking a second home and according to the most recent figures, the Perth & Kinross region has 1160 second homes. However, the tranquil idyll will soon face a significant change as Perth & Kinross Council has recently approved plans to increase the council tax on second homes by a staggering 100%. This move, set to be introduced in April of this year, raises important questions for property owners and potential buyers alike.

Second homes are currently subject to a default 50% discount on council tax. However, councils can vary charges, with the majority already setting the full rate for second homeowners (including Perth & Kinross Council). The newly approved increase by Perth & Kinross Council will increase the council tax due by 100%. (Purpose-built holiday homes and homes occupied for job-related purposes will however continue to have a protected 50% discount).

The measures aim to "prioritise housing for living in” and the decision to double the tax on second homes in Perth & Kinross also comes at a time when local authorities are grappling with the challenges of maintaining essential services and infrastructure.

For current second-home owners, the impending tax hike means a significant increase in annual expenses, prompting them to evaluate their investment. Additionally, potential buyers may be deterred by the higher costs associated with acquiring and maintaining a second property in the region.

While the prospect of a 100% council tax increase on second homes in Perth & Kinross may pose challenges for property owners and prospective buyers, it also opens the door for strategic planning and informed decision-making. Property owners are advised to appraise their financial strategies and ensure they understand the new council tax structure and are aware of the potential exemptions or relief measures that may apply.

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