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Government told - Stop the attacks on holiday lettings sector!

A holiday lettings agency has come out fighting on behalf of its clients.

Following calls by local leaders in Cornwall and Devon - two of the leading UK regions for domestic tourism - to quadruple council tax for second home owners, Finest Retreats is arguing the case for holiday let owners.

The agency says there has been talk about the possibility of restricting all new build developments only for those who will make the houses their full-time residence.


But Finest Retreats believes these and other measures create an ever-increasing hostile environment for holiday let owners.

Company chairman Richard Bond - who is also chair of the Holiday Home Association - says: “We have always welcomed increased taxation on empty second homes that provide little-to-no benefit to local communities or economies and negatively affect local housing markets. 

“However, penalising holiday let owners and effectively forcing them out of the market could have devastating effects on local economies and business - particularly those that are independently owned.

“The calls in Devon and Cornwall to quadruple taxation on second homes, prevent holiday let owners from purchasing property and creating additional planning permissions and licensing regulations are not the solution to the housing crisis in tourist hotspots.”

He claims holiday rental owners are being squeezed and penalised from every direction. 

“To us, it appears the government is seeking to use the holiday rental market as a scapegoat for its failed housebuilding and interest rate policies of the past decade.

“Professionally managed holiday lets act as small businesses and contribute up to six times more than an unoccupied second home and up to three times more than an owner-occupied property to the local economy.”

He says the South West alone benefits from over £400m in tourism spend thanks to 16 million trips made to the region, which also creates much-need jobs in hospitality, at local attractions and other local businesses.

Bond continues: “It’s vital holiday lets can continue to operate efficiently, effectively and to the benefit of other businesses. 

“A large part of Finest Retreats’ mission is to help councils and the government understand the core benefits of these properties and the risk with requiring planning permission is that owners will simply choose to not let them at all and use them as second homes visiting only once or twice per year. This will create ghost towns of our tourist hotspots.

“Legislations need to encourage second homeowners to professionally let their properties and support those already doing so to ensure a thriving travel market prevails for the benefit of all. The benefits of holiday lets cannot be lost in nuances over local funding, a lack of affordable housing, mortgage rates or other economic issues.”

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    Let them do it and watch the town start to die... Tourism areas like that NEED holiday rentals, as it is usually cheaper and more convenient for families to stay in a house like that than a hotel or B&B. I tried to find a hotel in this country in a tourism centre that had 2 rooms, or that I could book connecting rooms as family suites were extortionate! In the end we rented a one bedroom fully furnished flat with a sofa bed in the living room, for less than the hotel rooms and gives us more freedom.


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