MP says Treasury ‘looking into’ measures to cool market for Airbnb properties – LandlordZONE

Treasury officials are looking into tax and other fiscal measures to cool the market for second homes and properties for short-lets in popular holiday hotspots across the UK.

The initiative was revealed by Steve Double, Conservative MP for one of the areas affected, St Austell and Newquay in Cornwall, during a debate to introduce an amendment tabled by Tim Farron to a procedural piece of legislation brought in to confirm former Chancellor Kwasi Karteng’s stamp duty changes revealed in his otherwise disastrous mini budget.

Farron is MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale in the Lake District, an area struggling with its popularity as a tourist destination.

Double said he had been assured last week by Edward Argar, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury appointed that “the Treasury was looking at this issue”.

‘This issue’ is that, other than a 3% stamp duty surcharge and, in some areas, higher council tax bills, landlords and second home buyers have free reign to buy properties in rural and coastal holiday hotspots.

As LandlordZONE has reported before, Farron has been vocal inside and outside parliament to do something about local being squeezed out by properties being sold to Airbnb operators and outsiders buying holiday homes.

Rishi’s error

During this debate he said: “The former Chancellor and soon-to-be new Prime Minister — I congratulate him — my constituency neighbour, Rishi Sunak made an error at the beginning of the pandemic when he created the temporary stamp duty holiday.

“The immediate result was that in the first few months of the pandemic 80% of all house sales in my constituency, and in communities like it, were in the second home market.

“I hope and assume that was not the intention of the former Chancellor and soon-to-be Prime Minister, but that was the consequence.”

His amendment, which would have created a separate set of stamp duty rules for second homes and short-let properties, was defeated.

But as Richard Fuller, the Economic Secretary to the Treasury, said during the debate, the Government is keen to do something to stop holiday hotspots in effect becoming inaccessible and unaffordable for locals.

Read the debate in full.

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