Council tax on second and empty homes/ Non-domestic rates: consultation

Closed 11 Jul 2023

Opened 17 Apr 2023


Our aim is for everyone in Scotland to live in safe, secure and warm homes. We want your views on how local taxation and existing housing can help achieve this. Your responses will help inform policy development and what actions we take next.

The consultation asks whether councils should have additional powers giving them discretion to:

  • charge up to 100% premium (double the full rate) on council tax for second homes
  • charge more than 100% premium on council tax for second homes and long-term empty homes

This is not about a one size fits all solution. Nationally the aim is to encourage more residential accommodation to be used as homes for living in and for these to be occupied for more of the time.

Local areas need to decide how to achieve the right balance in the use of housing to meet local needs and to support thriving communities. That is why we are also asking for views on whether the current non-domestic rates thresholds for self-catering accommodation should change, and/or if councils should have discretion to set them.

We are also keen to hear your views about the current definitions of second and empty homes, the factors councils should take into account when deciding whether to apply council tax premiums and what types of accommodation/circumstances should be exempt.

Read the consultation paper 

Why your views matter

The Scottish Government wants to understand how the consultation proposals can help councils make the best use of existing housing in their areas. This includes managing the numbers of short-term lets, second and long-term empty homes, where these are causing local issues. Your views will help us to assess how the proposals will affect people. We will use this information to update the partial impact assessments we published alongside the consultation.

Access and respond to this consultation online by pressing the 'Begin Consultation' button below. You can save and return to your responses while the consultation is still open. 

If you are unable to respond using our consultation hub, please complete the Respondent Information Form and Consultation Questionnaire  and return by email or post to:

Second Homes/ Empty Homes/ NDR Consultation
Scottish Government
More Homes Division
Bothwell House
Hamilton Business Park
Caird Park

What happens next

Once the consultation closes your responses will be independently analysed and a summary of the findings published in a consultation report. If you have given your permission for your response to be published, with or without your name, these will be published via the Citizen Space platform. 


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