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I am seeking clarification on when to send a VAT reduction letter for empty homes.
I understand when a dwelling is empty for two years, a VAT letter can be issued confirming such, which results in a 15% VAT reduction.
However, I have a situation where an empty dwelling, in excess of two years, was sold. The new owner furnished sparsely, perhaps to avoid paying 200% council tax, instead being charged 100% council tax as a furnished second home.
He advises the dwelling is visited occasionally, however, is about to commence large scale works and would like a VAT reduction letter.
Although the classification of the dwelling has changed, I have had verbal confirmation from HMRC that this does not matter and the VAT letter can be issued for the 15% reduction.
This seems to contradict what I read in the Section 708 notice, 8.3.3. This states if a dwelling is being used occasionally as a second home, then the VAT cannot be reduce rated.

Could I please have some clarification? Thanks in advance.