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Author Topic: Holiday cottage..maxi stay of 6 wks  (Read 1486 times)

juliem

  • Joined Aug 2014
Holiday cottage..maxi stay of 6 wks
« on: December 09, 2020, 12:32:48 am »
My local authority have in their Local Plan a presumption for holiday cottages in rural areas.Now most of them come with condition that no one should stay longer than 6 wks but I've noticed my local authority are turning a blind eye to enforcing this with owner occupiers residing in holiday cottages.What's the situation like in other parts of the UK?

harmony

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: Holiday cottage..maxi stay of 6 wks
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2020, 08:52:56 am »
During Covid restrictions several holiday let owners have stayed in their properties. Our postman tells me one is a top barrister. another a high ranking church official amongst others. Many avoid council tax by claiming their lets as a business. They have been able to claim covid grants. Police have visited some properties where a complaint has been made. Local Authorities are pretty stretched currently.

oor wullie

  • Joined Jun 2012
  • Strathnairn
Re: Holiday cottage..maxi stay of 6 wks
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2020, 07:00:40 pm »
I'm not sure what the local plan says but here, most local people would love to see holiday homes lived in more full time.

Its frustrating to see such a high proportion of the housing stock sitting empty whilst people are forced to move out of the area because no houses are available.

Ghdp

  • Joined Aug 2014
  • Conwy
Re: Holiday cottage..maxi stay of 6 wks
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2020, 09:45:27 pm »
During Covid restrictions several holiday let owners have stayed in their properties. Our postman tells me one is a top barrister. another a high ranking church official amongst others. Many avoid council tax by claiming their lets as a business. They have been able to claim covid grants. Police have visited some properties where a complaint has been made. Local Authorities are pretty stretched currently.

Just making the following points.
1. No one can ‘claim’ their property is a holiday let business to avoid council tax - it has to BE a business. Regular audits of nights occupied and income received are required and have been sought by councils for years. (NB. Such up to date information was requested again before recent covid grants were payable.)
2. Grants are payable to real businesses
3. Anyone claiming to be running a business but isn’t is committing fraud. End of.
4. An owner can stay in their property provided it does not interfere with the criteria of being available for rent for 20 weeks of the year and actually let for 10 weeks of the year.
5. A better possible argument, and one that I personally think is fair, is about the criteria. A business should perhaps be available 52 weeks of the year and the level of occupancy commercially could legitimately be 30 plus weeks??
6. Councils should devote some resources to identify fraudulent claims if they have budgets to release properties from an obligation to pay full council tax or administer significant funds by way of grants. That is a duty their bear by virtue of their authority.   
Am not critical of the post at all Harmony - but to be honest the press reporting on this issue in our area of the country is wrong.

harmony

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: Holiday cottage..maxi stay of 6 wks
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2020, 11:39:50 pm »
During Covid restrictions several holiday let owners have stayed in their properties. Our postman tells me one is a top barrister. another a high ranking church official amongst others. Many avoid council tax by claiming their lets as a business. They have been able to claim covid grants. Police have visited some properties where a complaint has been made. Local Authorities are pretty stretched currently.

Just making the following points.
1. No one can ‘claim’ their property is a holiday let business to avoid council tax - it has to BE a business. Regular audits of nights occupied and income received are required and have been sought by councils for years. (NB. Such up to date information was requested again before recent covid grants were payable.)
2. Grants are payable to real businesses
3. Anyone claiming to be running a business but isn’t is committing fraud. End of.
4. An owner can stay in their property provided it does not interfere with the criteria of being available for rent for 20 weeks of the year and actually let for 10 weeks of the year.
5. A better possible argument, and one that I personally think is fair, is about the criteria. A business should perhaps be available 52 weeks of the year and the level of occupancy commercially could legitimately be 30 plus weeks??
6. Councils should devote some resources to identify fraudulent claims if they have budgets to release properties from an obligation to pay full council tax or administer significant funds by way of grants. That is a duty their bear by virtue of their authority.   
Am not critical of the post at all Harmony - but to be honest the press reporting on this issue in our area of the country is wrong.


I believe to qualify as a holiday let your property needs to be available for at least 140 days in the year (20 weeks) and you can pay business rates which are generally much less than council tax. I have heard holiday let owners boast how they pay less in business rates than locals pay in council tax.


Being available and actually being let is very different.




















doganjo

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Clackmannanshire
  • Qui? Moi?
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Re: Holiday cottage..maxi stay of 6 wks
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2020, 10:07:48 am »
Not many people have, or want to have, holiday homes in Clackmannanshire.  Shame really becasue it is a beautiful 'Wee County'.  So I suppose any rules here will be national ones, and most likely adhered to.
Always have been, always will be, a WYSIWYG - black is black, white is white - no grey in my life! But I'm mellowing in my old age

Ghdp

  • Joined Aug 2014
  • Conwy
Re: Holiday cottage..maxi stay of 6 wks
« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2020, 10:45:04 am »
Yep it is 20 weeks. I agree that the actual occupation rate seems low as to be viable as a business it needs to be occupied!
Points still stand tho.

juliem

  • Joined Aug 2014
Re: Holiday cottage..maxi stay of 6 wks
« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2020, 04:07:44 pm »
I know that sometimes these holiday cottages have interconnecting door so when one side is not being let then owner who lives in adjacent property can utilise .Also sometimes the property for rent is advertised at a high rate to put off potential holiday makers from booking.
As to business rates then all too often they are included in with another business..ie farm so the need to make money and be run as a business can be a cloudy affair.
I know my local authority (not in Wales ) are very under resourced and never seem to get involved in investigating holiday cottages.
It is certainly easier for a potential buyer to get planning permission for conversion of a barn to a holiday cottage than residential use by me and this is being exploited by applicants wishing to escape to the country.

harmony

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: Holiday cottage..maxi stay of 6 wks
« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2020, 06:02:32 pm »
Yep it is 20 weeks. I agree that the actual occupation rate seems low as to be viable as a business it needs to be occupied!
Points still stand tho.


Those running genuine businesses will want to let their property for as many weeks as possible. Despite your points, which I don't have an issue with, I think that there are plenty of people who are less than honest. They have a second home on which they pay business rates and they make a half hearted effort to let it but in reality aren't bothered if they do, preferring to let to family and friends on the quiet in some cases.


The other "trick" was for a couple to register on different electoral rolls - one in their area of main residency and the other in the area of their second home - thereby claiming single occupancy reductions.


There are less than honest people in all types of business so I'm certainly not singling out those with holiday lets. Nor do I mind any genuine business receiving covid help.


I am not impressed with those owners who have broken lockdown rules and moved into their lets when they shouldn't.

doganjo

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Clackmannanshire
  • Qui? Moi?
    • ABERDON GUNDOGS for work and show
    • Facebook
Re: Holiday cottage..maxi stay of 6 wks
« Reply #9 on: December 10, 2020, 07:22:59 pm »
Quite agree, @harmony

Nor am I impressed by those who travel when they have been told they shouldn't - like Cummings, Calderwood, Johnson, other politicians -  and now Royals. 

Our First Minister played the Mummy card.

Child -  "Mummy can I ..... "
Mummy - " You know the rules .........."

And still they came.
Always have been, always will be, a WYSIWYG - black is black, white is white - no grey in my life! But I'm mellowing in my old age

 

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