Michael Gove MP, Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities has announced the Government’s intention to establish a registration scheme for short term lets.
Having spoken many times about the need to address the housing crisis in South Devon, Anthony welcomes the new measure that is set to be part of the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill. Having led a successful campaign to change the laws around business rate eligibility on second homes, Anthony has continued to engage with colleagues in Westminster and offer solutions that strike a balance between affordable housing and holiday accommodation.
The Government will also launch a consultation on whether planning permission should be required for new short-term lets, especially in tourist hotspots. This comes after a government review earlier this year into the effect of short-term holiday lets, seeking to improve the holiday letting market for those living in popular tourism destinations. While recognising the economic benefits of the domestic tourism boom, ministers also acknowledged the need to protect community interests and ensure accommodation is of a high quality.
In popular tourist destinations such as South Devon, house prices have risen dramatically in recent years, while many landlords are opting for short-term rentals over long lets. With local people being unable to access affordable housing, communities are being hollowed out and businesses are struggling to fulfil their staffing requirements. The South Hams has the fourth highest number of second homes in the country, with some 8.6% of properties either being a holiday home, short-term rental or buy-to-leave.
The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities has confirmed that local authorities are set to be given powers to apply a council tax premium of up to 100% on empty and second homes, while valued landscapes such as National Parks, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the Green Belt will remain protected through robust national and local planning policies.
Speaking after the announcement, Anthony Mangnall MP said:
“I have spoken regularly about the need to find a balance between holiday rentals and housing for local people. I am therefore delighted the Government has listened to myself and colleagues who regularly highlight the need to find solutions to the housing crisis which affects areas including South Devon.
It is wonderful that people want to come to South Devon, but we must attract visitors to the region while retaining local communities and ensuring people who want to live and work in the area are able to find a home.
Having recently met with local tourism businesses to hear their views, I am confident that a registration scheme is a solution that will allow local holiday letting agencies to continue employing local people and providing an exceptional service, while regulating the industry and encouraging landlords to consider long-term rentals.”