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Labour councillor want holiday lets to pay five times normal council tax

A Labour councillor in the Lake District says second home owners who let their properties should be obliged to pay five times the regular council tax. 

The Keswick Reminder news website quotes Councillor Tony Lywood as saying: “I would now like to see a cap on the proliferation of holiday lets in the town and the immediate change in the ratings system.

“People who have holiday lets only want to do the best for themselves and want to buy properties where the money is, but the most annoying thing of all to me is that the system effectively allows us to subsidise holiday lets as they pay no council tax.”


He says holiday lets often claim small business rates relief, which he claims was designed to encourage start-up businesses and shopkeepers.

“What is needed is to dis-incentivise turning a house into a holiday let so that it is not massively lucrative. Until we do that, I don’t blame any holiday let owner or second home owner.”

Lywood says the issue has been heightened as a result of his receiving a “heart wrenching” account of a young Keswick couple who cannot afford to move within the area, but must remain living locally because of transport and childcare arrangements.

You can see the full story here.


Recently the former Liberal Democrat party leader and Lake District MP Tim Farron met with Airbnb to challenge the company on the damaging effect of short lets on the rental market. He says there has been a 32 per cent increase in the number of holiday lets in his South Lakeland constituency over the past year. 

Farron says local people and families have been evicted from their homes in the Lake District so that their landlord can turn it into a holiday let.

Farron urged Airbnb to publicly declare that it will not accept onto its books any properties where the landlord had made it available by getting rid of the local people or family who lived there under a Section 21 eviction.

He told Airbnb that this sharp rise in holiday lets is actually hurting the tourist economy, with the shortage of homes exacerbating the current staffing crisis.

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  •  G romit

    Lesson 1: how to kill off 50% of the tourism industry
    Lesson2: how to get big backhanders from the hotel industry.

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    Airbnb hosts need to pay their proper share of all taxes and not be subsidised by other taxpayers including landlords and properly regulated hospitality businesses.

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    As usual, a labour councillor going way beyond a sensible solution to what he is trying to achieve. I’m sorry if you can’t afford to live in the Lake District, I can’t afford to live in Knightsbridge, so I live somewhere else. The Lake District is a superb tourism hotspot creating lots of jobs and keeping businesses going, all of who pay lots of tax. What’s more, it is not just the super rich who stay in the Lake District, plenty of average income families enjoy the area every year. Maybe a proportionate measure would be to make everyone pay Council tax whether you are a business or not.


    Thats rediculous, who the heck is going to staff the shops and the cafes in the area when those on low wages have no where to live and are forced to move out ?


    Isn't that what social housing is for, and nearby less expensive areas?


    David, shops and cafes will have to pay their staff more and pass the cost onto the tourists

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    What a c**k. Holiday lets create income which results in tax being paid... Just like any other business... I've got 2 Airbnb properties and 8 residentials... Im selling off the residentials... Not worth the hassle any more or the unfair taxes etc.

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    So hotels and b&b's close, hotels become bedsits and no one on low pay can afford to live their and staff the tourist attractions and cafes etc cant get any staff, great idea


    Market forces will prevail if Government and Lefties stop interfering.

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    Maybe everyone should pay some council tax, my wife and I pay full c/tax £2’500, as the family members have flown the nest. I see other houses with 8 occupants plus, they only pay same as us so 6 pays nothing that will be millions but have use of the facilities and their rubbish taken away. The poll tax had merits everyone pay something, they went marching because the people who never paid anything wouldn’t pay, leave someone else pay it.
    I am totally against c/tax on empty property. I had 5 gaps in last year where I had to pay, I didn’t want vacant periods outside my control and spending money up dating in the mean time whilst I had the opportunity so why give me c/tax penalty to add insult to injury for doing everything possible, do they really think I want empty property ?.

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    Every holiday letting unit creates at least one local job. Where would The Lake District be without tourism?

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    What causes the shortage of housing in this country? Planning and the greenbelt . Who operates planning and the greenbelt? The council! So let's blame landlords. Farron Should put the blame squarely on his own planning committee.
    Jim Haliburton
    The HMO Daddy


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