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UK Government to ban second home owners from renting out properties as short-term lets in England

24 Jun 2022 3 minute read
St Ives, a popular spot for second homes in Cornwall. CC0 Public Domain.

The UK Government are set to ban second home owners from renting out their properties as short-term holiday lets in England.

The plans being drawn up by the Housing Secretary Michael Gove would take the UK Government in a similar direction to plans being rolled out in Wales by the Welsh Government.

It would be part of a UK Government crack down on landlords driving up house prices in holiday hotspots, sources told the Telegraph newspaper.

It comes despite Welsh Conservative opposition to plans to crack down on holidays homes rented out for only a small part of the year in Wales.

Michael Gove’s changes to the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill would give regional mayors the power to restrict people renting out second properties for fewer than 90 days.

A spokesman for the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities told the Telegraph: “We’re taking action to combat the adverse impact that second homes can have on local communities – particularly in tourist areas such as Cornwall – by closing tax loopholes, introducing higher rates of stamp duty and empowering councils to apply a tax premium of up to 100pc on second homes.”

In Wales, the criteria for self-catering accommodation being liable for business rates instead of council tax will be raised from 70 to 182 days in April of next year.

‘Shocking’

Welsh Conservatives have opposed moves to tackle holiday homes let out as businesses, with Aberconwy Senedd Member Janet Finch-Saunders accusing the Welsh Government of being “obsessed” with second homes.

“Industry data suggests that Wales needs to build 12,000 homes a year by 2031 but before the pandemic we saw that the Welsh Government could barely manage half of that,” Janet Finch-Saunders said.

“Shockingly in 2018-19, we saw the number of properties completed fall to 30.6% below levels seen prior to devolution.

“This failure to deliver on new homes is compounded by the reality that the Welsh Government refuses to listen to the common-sense policy solutions that I have put forward, including the re-introduction of the Right-to-Buy scheme and amendments to planning policy.

“Instead, the Welsh Government has become obsessed with targeting second homeowners and legitimate holiday let businesses.

“However, it is clear that even in this the Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru are failing, once again announcing a new scheme without having thought it through.

“It is totally shocking that six months into this scheme Gwynedd’s Council Leader remains unsure as to what the Welsh Government are even piloting.”

The Senedd Member’s most recent register of interests shows that she jointly owned seven properties, including a residential/holiday-let property in Menai Bridge with her daughter.


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Paul
Paul
5 months ago

I wonder how our resident English supremacist party will spin this one. Will they go for ‘ignore and it will go away’ or the more usual ‘it is anti English when done here but magnificent when done in our spiritual home.’. So exciting…

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
5 months ago
Reply to  Paul

Janet Finch-Saunders when asked to comment simply wept. “I have been betrayed” she sobbed.

BobSnail
BobSnail
5 months ago

Does “renting out second properties” mean actually having people paying to stay in a property for more than 90 days (i.e. successfully rented) or offered for rental at an exorbitant rate so no one will rent it? That way, the owner will get around the law and keep their 2nd properties for themselves.

Wrexhamian
Wrexhamian
5 months ago
Reply to  BobSnail

Then they’ll have to pay Council Tax, just like everybody else does.

Owain Morgan
Owain Morgan
5 months ago
Reply to  BobSnail

The whole reason many second home owners rent out their properties is because they can’t afford the mortgage without extra money. So, they definitely can’t afford full rate, or even higher, council tax. Obviously they’ll need to rent their properties out for over six months, or better still just sell up.

Rob
Rob
5 months ago

Yet when Wales proposes this they are racist and anti-English

Jack
Jack
5 months ago

I must say I find it a bit of a shame that St Ives, Cornwall is always used as the photo in these articles.

Cornwall is a nation in it’s own right. Cornwall is not England.

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