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Agency urges second home owners to be Airbnb hosts for tax reasons

The head of a lettings agency in Kent says it would be a “practical solution” for second home owners to become Airbnb-style short let hosts to avoid higher council tax bills.

Sophie Meyer, head of sales and lettings at agency Presence & Co, says newly announced regulations are sweeping across Kent and that “homeowners with second residences are bracing for an unprecedented increase in council tax.” 

Every council the county will implement rules doubling council tax bills for those who own secondary properties. This policy aims to address the issue of empty homes and generate additional revenue for local councils.


A second home, under these regulations, is defined as a furnished property that is not the owner's primary residence or rented out. While many individuals own a second property for various reasons, including as a holiday home or investment, these residences often sit empty for the majority of the year. Despite paying council tax on their primary residence, owners have previously avoided additional charges on their secondary homes.

Kent's councils estimate that the implementation of these new rates for second homes and empty properties combined will result in an annual revenue boost of approximately £3.77m.

A statement from Meyer’s agency says: “By engaging in short-term letting through Presence & Co, property owners can avoid the doubling of council tax on their second residences.”

Meyer emphasises the importance of exploring this option not only to avoid the council tax rise but also contribute to the local community.

She says: “We understand the challenges faced by property owners in light of these new regulations. Our tailored solutions for short-term letting provide a win-win scenario, allowing homeowners to maximise the utility of their second properties whilst making an additional income off the asset, helping to cover the council tax burdens. We invite all affected individuals to engage in a conversation with us to explore how we can assist them in navigating this changing landscape."


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