Government plans curb on non-rental of holiday lets

Owners of second homes will have to ensure they are renting out their properties for a minimum of 140 days a year if they cut their tax liability by registering for business rates

The government will legislate to change the criteria determining whether a holiday let is valued for business rates to account for actual days the property was rented, following a previous consultation.

In England, a holiday let is currently liable to pay business rates rather than council tax when the owner declares they intend to make their property available to let 140 days in the coming year. There is no requirement for business rates purposes to undertake checks to verify that they are actually commercially rented out.

Of the over 60,000 holiday lets currently on the business rates list, around 96% have a rateable value which would likely qualify them for Small Business Rates Relief and as a result pay no business rates at all.

The new criteria will ensure that owners of properties that are not genuine businesses are not able to reduce their tax liability by declaring that a property is available for let but make little or no realistic effort to actually let it out.

This will ensure that owners of properties cannot reduce their tax liability by declaring that a property is available for let while making little or no actual effort to do so.

Further details of the change and implementation will be included in the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government’s (MHCLG) response to the consultation on the business rates treatment of self-catering accommodation which will be published shortly.

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