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Rent control momentum grows - petition nears 50,000 signatures

A petition urging rent caps for private tenants and hefty tax rises for second home owners is now nearing its 50,000 signature target. 

The online petition on the Change.org site says Cornwall is on the verge of a homelessness crisis, worsened by what it calls the current “second homes property frenzy.”

The county has been at the heart of the so-called ‘race for space’ as buyers from the south east and other areas of England have changed lifestyle following the pandemic.


Part of the lengthy introduction to the petition says: “Cornwall currently has more than 10,290 active Airbnb listings, yet in comparison, the housing website Rightmove had only 62 properties available to rent privately across the whole county.”

Amongst the demands in the petition is one urging Cornwall Council to “work quickly towards outlining firm strategies to cap local rents in keeping with local incomes so that local families are not left homeless.”



The petition was created before the recent SNP-Green Party deal in Scotland which has the introduction of rent controls as one of its central policies. 

The Cornwall petition wants also urges a higher and more stringent tax on second homes “which recognises the threat they pose to local communities”, a change in the taxation regime which allows second homes to be classed as businesses in some cases and so lessening their tax burden, and demands the council builds homes which are truly affordable and only for local families.

You can see the petition in full here.

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  • icon

    So there’s not enough properties available to rent in Cornwall, I know, let’s demand rent caps so there’ll be even less. Additionally you could increase taxes and bring in licensing schemes - might as well go all the way.

    The idiocy of this, is that holiday lets are time intensive, involve a lot of work and hassle. If you made BTL just a little more profitable and easier, many holiday let owners would switch back. But this obsession with bashing landlords will not go away, and so you get what you wanted - no landlords, and, in turn, no rental properties available. Great job.



    Totally agree.

    I have a nice holiday home which we use for family holidays and let out on short lets from April to September.

    We used to get a six month tenancy from October to March but the SNP banned landlords and tenants from agreeing to such a six month tenancy.

    We therefore went for short breaks off peak and have found we are now better off and qualify as a furnished holiday let, avoid paying council tax and could qualify for 10% CGT if sold.

    SNP interference has therefore stopped a family from having a lovely home for six months over winter and stopped the Council from getting any Council Tax whereas before the Council got full council tax whether let or not!

  • icon

    Steve I agree in the main but what happened in areas I operate was when Corona struck and the Planes stopped flying AirBnB LL’s switch to regular lettings then I had places vacant for months and difficulty finding Tenants. Although I could have let many times over to Rent 2 Rent scammers who sublets the
    rooms making a killing at owners expense, another reason why I could not find Tenants, we know they are Councils friends or it couldn’t be happening .

  • George Dawes

    Still uncontrolled immigration, not enough homes built , rent controls , impossible epc targets = leads one way

    Government compulsory purchase coming to your street soon

    Build back better*

    *for the 0.1% ‘elite’

  • icon

    Rent caps, so if I am a Renter and asked if I would like to pay lest Rent, yes please.

  • icon

    One has to be careful with those statistics. I used to own a holiday park with 23 bungalows available for rent 52 weeks of the year, BUT for holidays only. they could not be your permanent or main residence. They would appear on the airbnb web site for example but could not be used as homes for local people



    I've never understood why static caravan parks which close for the winter aren't used for the homeless for the winter months with the Council guaranteeing they will be handed back in pristine condition for holiday use from Easter onwards.

    Perhaps the Council don't have the same faith in potential tenants which they are asking landlords to have?

  • Theodor Cable

    It will cost the local Councils way too much money to repair all of the damages done by the thugs they will put in the home.

    At least the councils understand the amount of money LL have to pay for thes fecless people.

    I would noy let even 1 of them into my properties. EVER!

  • icon

    Wonder how many of these signatures are from the jealous, juvenile, self-entitled brigade? Methinks quite a large percentage. If I had my way, I would raise the voting age to 25. We would be governed in a far more sensible grown up manner. Instead it's government by utopian ideals which, to those of us with a degree in life experience know, cannot be fulfilled. Bit of a rant on a Friday afternoon....its been a long week!



    Quite agree but I would go further.

    Every one over 25 would get the number of votes corresponding to their age, so a 25 year old would get 25 votes, a 50 year old 50 votes and so on.

    That way, life experience and fiscal contribution over the years would be recognised and rewarded. Votes could be deducted for minor offences and prisoners would get all votes confiscated for twice the length of all sentences given every time they got a new sentence.

    John  Adams

    Ironically a fair heft of them are from families, where mummy & daddy or is that Donor & recipient these days? own a second home...

  • icon

    Tenants etc should worry less about what Landlords have, and concentrate on earning more themselves, rather than winging.

  • icon

    ARLA says letting is booming & people on the move after the pandemic. That doesn’t mean more property is required, someone else will be living in the property they vacated.

  • John  Adams

    The problem is no one in Government seems to have any ability to understand the consequences, of these increasingly nutty demands. Cornwall could ban AirBnB etc, which would only decrease the number of visitors for an area that is dependent on tourism, forcing up prices as these more affluent tourists won't be shopping in some quaint village store but in a Waitrose, etc. As for Second homes etc again most of these properties would not be affordable to a workforce that is largely on minimum wage... What is needed is more social housing and local authorities and Central government aren't interested, they rather play who can be the most woke at the local level, and where can we build something no one wants at the National level.. Just think HS2 is going to knock about 20 minutes off the journey from London to Birmingham at a cost of £56 Billion.... just how many 3 bed council houses could you build from a properly overseen tender?


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