Airbnb hosts in rural areas may need a permit to list their homes as temporary vacation rentals

Airbnb hosts in rural communities may need to be licensed to list their homes as they are short-term vacation rentals, fearing that locals will be evicted due to a lack of rental properties

  • Second home owners may need permission to manage short vacation rentals
  • Proposal under review amid concerns from MPs in popular coastal towns
  • It follows a crackdown announced against people abusing the holiday home tax loophole
  • Vacation rentals must be rented out for a minimum of 70 days per year for corporate rates










Airbnb owners in rural communities may need to acquire a license to list their homes as short-term vacation rentals due to fears that locals will be evicted due to a lack of rental properties.

A proposal under consideration by ministers could force second home owners to get permission from their council to run short holiday homes.

The plan follows Tory MPs in popular coastal areas, including Cornwall, Devon and the Isle of Wight, who express concerns about booming industry leading to a lack of affordable housing in their area.

A government source told The Times: ‘Clearly we have to respond to the way the market has grown.’

Yesterday, the Department for Leveling Up announced a tax crackdown on second home owners who “pretend” to rent out their properties to vacationers.

From April 2023, holiday properties must be rented out for a minimum of 70 days per year to qualify for business rates under the new rules, which target tourist destinations.

A proposal under consideration by ministers could force second home owners to get permission from their council to run short-term holiday rentals (Photo: St Ives in Cornwall)

Selaine Saxby, Tory MP for North Devon, warned during a debate in the House of Commons that rising house prices have contributed to people in her community becoming homeless.

She also said that “noise, antisocial behavior, parties and hot tubs” at Airbnb rentals upset locals.

And Bob Seely, Tory MP for the Isle of Wight, said the village of Seaview has been “effectively stripped of permanent life” because 82 percent of its properties are second homes.

Referring to the latest developments, Leveling Up Secretary Michael Gove said: ‘The government supports small businesses, including responsible short-term rentals, which attract tourists and generate significant investment for local communities.

“However, we will not stand by and allow people in privileged positions to abuse the system by falsely claiming tax credits and letting locals count the costs.

“The action we are taking will create a fairer system so that second home owners can contribute their share to the local services that benefit them.”

Yesterday, the Department for Leveling Up announced a tax crackdown on second home owners who

Yesterday, the Department for Leveling Up announced a tax crackdown on second home owners who “pretend” to rent out their properties to vacationers (Leveling Up secretary, Michael Gove pictured Jan. 10)

Kurt Jansen, director of the Tourism Alliance, added: ‘Identifying these new operational barriers for standalone businesses is welcomed by the tourism industry as it makes a very important distinction between commercial standalone businesses that provide income and employment to local communities. and holiday homes that are empty for most of the year.

“It’s a recognition that tourism is the lifeblood of many small towns and villages, maintaining the viability of local shops, pubs and attractions.”

In 2018-2019, three per cent of households in the UK reported having a second home, with the proportion remaining unchanged between 2008-09, according to the Department for Leveling Up.

The most common reason for owning a second home is for use as a vacation home or weekend cottage, with 35 percent saying they see it as a long-term investment or income and 16 percent used it as their previous home.

An Airbnb spokesperson said: 'We take housing concerns seriously and have already made proposals to the government for a nationwide registration system for landlords' (file photo)

An Airbnb spokesperson said: ‘We take housing concerns seriously and have already made proposals to the government for a nationwide registration system for landlords’ (file photo)

According to the latest figures, 57 percent of second homes are in the UK, 34 percent in Europe and nine percent in non-European countries.

The Government Department’s 2018-19 UK Housing Survey states: ‘Since 2008-09 there has been an increase in the share of second homes in the UK and a corresponding decrease in European and non-European second homes.’

An Airbnb spokesperson said: “The majority of hosts share a space in their own home and nearly a third say the extra income is an economic lifeline.

‘We take the concerns about housing seriously and have already made proposals to the government for a national registration system for landlords. We look forward to supporting the forthcoming consultation.”

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