Thank you for contacting me about holiday lets.
Holiday lets do contribute to the economy, create jobs, and increase tourism. Nonetheless, there are concerns that owners of some properties that are not genuine businesses reduce their tax liability unfairly by declaring that a property is available to let, while making no sincere effort to let it out.
As I am sure you are aware, the Government has announced that it will legislate to strengthen the self-catering accommodation criteria for business rates to rectify this issue, which I welcome as I believe this will also give councils a better idea of the number of holiday lets in a given area. This follows a consultation on a proposal to make holiday lets only liable for business rates rather than council tax if the property is available as a commercial holiday let for short periods totalling at least 140 days.
This would also apply if during the year prior to the year being considered, the property was available for letting commercially as self-catering accommodation for short periods totalling at least 140 days. If during the year immediately prior to the year being considered, the property was actually commercially let as self-catering accommodation for short periods totalling at least 70 days it would also benefit from the proposed changes.
I am concerned that we have a significant number of holiday lets in Hastings and Rye and this puts pressure on locals’ ability to purchase homes in the place they were born and raised. I, along with a number of other MPs, have raised this issue with ministers as to consider how local communities can best manage this.