A woman who owns two flats has slammed a council’s decision to double council tax on second homes which will see her have to pay £6,000 a year.

The resident, who asked not to be named, owns a flat in Kent and Sovereign Harbour in Eastbourne but said she uses both equally.

She said the legislation is being used incorrectly by Eastbourne Borough Council, with the government’s reasoning being to stop villages from becoming “ghost towns” because of second-home owners who never stay there.

Her council tax bill will rise from £2,900 to almost £6,000 with the doubling of council tax on second homes coming to the area from April 1 next year.

“There is an assumption that people with second homes barely use it, it’s basically an empty property and you’re taking it from the locals,” she said. “I split my time equally between both places but I have to name one as my main home. They are both two small flats, one which was given to me by mum after my dad died. 

“My main place is in Kent because I work in London and one in the Sovereign Harbour area of Eastbourne which was given to me by my parents. They worked very hard for that and my mother gave it to me when my father died.

The Argus: She owns a second property in Sovereign HarbourShe owns a second property in Sovereign Harbour (Image: Supplied)

“I get a single person discount in my other home but I already pay more in Eastbourne. Now from April next year, I will be paying another £3,000 a year out of my salary that I would have to find to keep my flat.

“As a single person with no children I use almost nothing of the local council-provided facilities so I don’t cost the council much other than my bins being emptied.

“I put a lot into the local economy, decorators, shops, transport, going to restaurants.

“My main frustration is the reason the government made that legislation is to stop places like little Cornish fishing villages from being overrun by second-home owners who never go there and don’t allow anyone to buy. It’s not what the legislation is meant for.

"There's a misperception that if you're a second-home owner you must be rich. A lot of people have saved up and worked really hard. It doesn't mean they have some massive income.

"I'm lucky to have two places but it's not an easy affordability for me, and I think my mum will want to move there in her later life."

From April 1, Lewes and Eastbourne Councils will charge a second homes premium of 100 per cent for all furnished dwellings that are no one’s sole or main residence.

A council spokeswoman said: “Like many councils across the country, we are increasing council tax for owners of empty and second homes. For second homes, the new charges will come into effect from April 2025.

“In Eastbourne, we have a housing crisis where levels of homelessness have increased sharply and huge numbers of people are being placed in temporary accommodation.

“Against this backdrop of high demand for housing and massive pressure on local services, there are more than 780 properties in the town being used as a second home.”