Council Wants Government Incentives For Landlords
One of the areas in the UK with the one of the most Airbnb short lets council’s leader is urging the government to put together a range of incentives for landlords to switch back to long term tenancies.
David Worden, the leader of North Devon council, said: “The answer for the current problems goes beyond the powers of local authorities and goes beyond simply building more homes. It needs a joined up approach from local and national government to resolve these issues and will need honesty and commitment from all those involved.
“…We, along with other district councils in Devon, will be pushing our local MPs to continue to take up the issue with government and to press for incentives for landlords to be taken to redress the balance.”
The measures he would like to see being introduced include changes in the criteria so Airbnb holiday properties would be subjected to business rates, have the removal of Capital Gains Tax and mortgage interest relief and giving councils the power to charge higher council tax on all second homes.
“We will also be asking the government to consider incentive schemes to encourage landlords to let on the permanent rental market rather than the holiday market. This is an issue that will affect the character of North Devon if action is not taken now.”
Devon of course is not alone as there are many other UK holiday ‘hot spots’ that have experienced major declines in the number of available long term tenancies, as over countless years during the summer vacation period many landlords have taken advantage of Airbnb type lets.
Councillor Worden says: “House prices have risen significantly in North Devon, with some pockets seeing rises of 18 per cent in the past 12 months.
“Many of the properties that have been sold in North Devon have been bought to be used as second homes or as short-term holiday lets and so are no longer available to local people. This is a very worrying trend and something that requires collective action from local and national government to tackle.
“The impacts are not just on the individuals but also on our economy and social structure, as businesses and public services are now finding it hard to attract new employees as a direct result of the shortage of permanent accommodation.
“…We have also purchased a number of properties for use as emergency temporary accommodation which means that there is less reliance on bed and breakfast accommodation.
“…We are keen for residents to come forward when they are aware of derelict or empty properties that could be brought back into use and, in certain circumstances, offer loans to owners of those properties in an effort to encourage them to move them back into use.”