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I spend my time between two properties. Do I pay council tax on both?

There is no discount for second homes or unoccupied furnished properties.

Sole or main residence

Where a person has two or more homes it will usually be obvious which their main residence is.

Principles accepted by the courts are that

  • A ship plying the high seas cannot in law, constitute a person's residence.
  • Residence implies a degree of permanence.
  • Temporary presence at an address does not make a person resident there.
  • Temporary absence does not deprive a person of residence.
  • A person's sole or main residence does not change if they are on holiday or temporarily in hospital.

If they live mainly in this country it is likely that they will have their main residence here for the whole year. In a few cases, a substantial proportion of the year is spent at two or more addresses. In such case, it is important to stress that "main residence" does not simply mean the address at which more time is spent than at any other. In cases where enquiries are needed, the council will take account of factors such as

  • where the person is employed
  • where the children go to school
  • where each member of the household works
  • where each person keeps the majority of their possessions
  • the intention to return