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 Activists want HMRC to remove tax perks from holiday lets

Baroness Alicia Kennedy, director of the Generation Rent campaign, says rents in Wales, Scotland and South West England have soared thanks to the proliferation of holiday lets.

Her campaign group claims it costs around one quarter more to rent a home in regions popular with holidaymakers than it did two years ago, with the numbers of properties available to let sharply down – by as much as 53 per cent in Wales.

In contrast, she admits that rents in London are down by 17 per cent compared with July 2019, with the number of listings up by 10 per cent in the same period.

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The group says there is now “unbearable pressure on renters” in popular tourist communities.

Using Zoopla data, the group says it’s compared listings of rental properties on July 15 2019 and July 16 this year. 

In Wales, listings have allegedly fallen by 53 per cent over that period and rents have increased by 26 per cent. In South West England, listings have fallen by 49 per cent and rents are up 23 per cent, while in Scotland listings are down by 28 per cent and rents up 24 per cent.

And it claims that while holidaymakers to a hotspot might have a choice of thousands of short term lets, in many areas fewer than 100 homes are available for locals to live in. 

The group says that in the Scottish Highlands 5,049 holiday lets are being advertised, but just 15 properties to let on Zoopla. 

The campaigners want Chancellor Rishi Sunak to withdraw mortgage interest relief from landlords of furnished holiday lets, as part of creating what they call “a level playing field with the wider private rented sector.” 

They also demand unspecified further measures to “regulate the holiday lets market, ensure owners of holiday lets and second homes pay enough council tax, and build enough homes to allow people to stay in the areas where they grew up.”

 

Baroness Kennedy says: “Self-catering accommodation plays an essential role for the tourist industry, but it is too easy for landlords to evict locals from their homes to make way for more lucrative holidaymakers. 

“As a result communities are being torn apart and businesses that serve tourists struggle to find staff. The situation is unsustainable. 

“The government must give councils powers to tax and regulate their local holiday lets market appropriately, but should also act directly to take tax perks away from holiday lets so we keep homes available for people who need one.”

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    It never dawns on these people to suggest removing the section 24 tax to make AST more appealing as opposed to making it harder and directly forcing rental costs up

  • jeremy clarke

    These fools need to be lobbying government to build more housing and make it more attractive for landlords to remain in the PRS.
    At the same time they should refuse to holiday in any property in the UK with their families! I wonder how many activists have enjoyed a week in Cornwall?

  • James B

    Maybe one day the baroness might learn that bite the hand that feeds you never works .. all these anti landlord policies aren’t helping renters

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    She says, “it is too easy for landlords to evict locals from their homes”. The woman is deluded if she thinks removing a tenant from a property is easy and landlords do not evict, they serve notice. To evict a tenant you need a court order. She should know that too.

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    The filthy parasites are targeting landlords again.

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    I vey much doubt that tourists are more lucrative for seasonal accomodation. 12 weeks a year including costs of cleaning and changing bedding is unlikely to beat 12 months rent without cleaning & furniture or admin costs.
    This woman is very cunningly making myths into "facts" to support her aim of appropriating landlords property.

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    Yet again she like Shelter is promoting the myth that it is the job of the PRS to house the people Councils cant and at the same rents as social housing.

    They forget Landlords do this as a business and merely exist to meet a demand that has appeared in the market. Instead they should be targeting Government and Councils to build more social Housing as that would reduce the demand on the PRS and so overcome all their complaints.

    Why do they think that Landlords as business people who invest money and subject themselves to the risks attached in owning property do not have the right to choose how they let their properties out and who to? They are merely responding to a change in market demand.

    It is similar to telling them they can not change jobs because they currently fulfil a role and their actions will create inconvenience and disruption for their employer. How would they like that?

    We have numerous building projects and are producing numerous houses for professional people and some of which are bought to be rented out. To cover the costs rents have to be market rents.
    What we are plainly short of is housing for those on benefits at affordable rents. However it is not as I say the job of private Landlords to meet this demand but that of Government and Local Authorities so why do they not start putting pressure on them to meet their obligations?

    After the two wars we embarked on building pre fabricated houses to meet the housing needs of the time, many of which are still standing and very nice. We now have much better technology to create higher quality pre fabricated houses at a lower cost to traditional ones so why doe we not use a similar strategy.

    Another way of meeting this demand would be for the Government to make money available for Councils to build Social Housing and for it then to be repaid from the income through arms length companies so they are not subject to Right to Buy, which is a probable contributory cause of the shortage, Effectively acting as a BTL lender for Councils.

    Instead of accepting the criticisms of Generation Rent and Shelter who use us a scapegoat and easy target, the NRLA should be offering solutions to Government on how to solve the problem of a shortage of social Housing and look after the interests of Private Landlords.

    Once Councils have an increased stock of property to rent out we will see the PRS shrink as demand reduces and Landlords look for other ways to create a return on their money

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