Second homes premium to support local residents

Published: 25 January 2024

A wide, aerial shot of Folkestone from the Harbour area.

Councillors have once again backed the introduction of a ‘second homes tax’ in Folkestone & Hythe.

Under new legislation passed by central government, local authorities will be able to charge those who own properties that are only “occupied periodically” extra.

Folkestone & Hythe District Council backed introducing the 100% council tax premium last February but reaffirmed the decision last night (24 January) following delays in the bill receiving Royal Assent.

Cabinet members also agreed a council tax premium on properties left empty for more than a year. These will come into effect on 1 April 2024.

Subject to the outcome of a government consultation, the ‘second homes tax’ will come into effect from 1 April 2025.

Those affected by the change – currently estimated to be just under 1,100 – will be notified before that date.

A Folkestone & Hythe District Council spokesperson said: “By introducing a premium, it is expected owners of those properties not in constant use may be encouraged to be brought back into use for local residents.”