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Graham Awards


Too Many Second Homes? Campaigning MP to meet minister

A campaigning MP is to meet with a government minister to discuss controls and disincentives for second homes.

Former Liberal Democrat MP Tim Farron - who has also been leading a campaign to limit the number of holiday lets and Airbnbs in tourist areas - secured the meeting during a House of Commons debate. 

Last month Farron led a debate in Parliament calling for measures against short lets 


He presented a seven point plan to limit the number of second homes and make more affordable homes available for local families:

1. Make second homes and holiday lets new and separate categories of planning use. This would mean that councils and national parks would have the power to put a limit on the number of such properties in each town and village, protecting the majority of houses for permanent occupation;

2. Provide targeted, ring fenced finance so that planning departments have the resources to effectively police this new rule;

3. Give councils the power to increase council tax by up to 100 per cent on second homes in the worst affected communities - this would serve to protect those communities and it would also generate revenue that could then be ploughed back into their threatened schools and into new affordable housing for local families;

4. Force all holiday let owners to pay council tax, rather than avoiding paying anything at all if they are deemed a small business;

5. Give councils and national parks the power to ensure that 100 per cent of new builds are genuinely affordable;

6. Ban Section 21 evictions;

7. Ensure that platforms like Airbnb aren't allowed to cut corners and undermine the traditional holiday let industry, and have to meet the same standards as other rentals.



Earlier this month Farron told MPs: “Rural Britain’s housing crisis has become a catastrophe over the last two years of the pandemic.

“The Chancellor will know all about that, given the kind of constituency he represents. Some 80 per cent of all house sales in the Lakes and Dales in Cumbria have been to the second home market, and in some rural communities there has been a reduction in the private-rented affordable market of 70 per. cent.

“Local families are being forced out of our communities. The need for drastic and immediate action is obvious.

“Will the Minister [Lucy Frazer MP] agree – or will she agree to persuade her right honourable friend the Chancellor – to meet me, as the Chancellor’s constituency neighbour, to sit down and look at seven steps for saving our rural communities, so that we can prevent our towns and villages being emptied of their full-time populations?

“That will surely include giving councils the freedom to double council tax on second homes.”

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    I heard Tim Farron on Radio 4 a few weeks back when he was one of a few people talking about how hard it is to find anywhere to rent (the other interviewees were tenants). Mr F was crowing about how his party were jointly responsible for the introduction of the 3% extra SDLT as a disincentive for second homes and seemed completely oblivious to the fact that it also applies when a property is bought to let out. Is he really so daft as to not realise that he is therefore partly responsible for the renting crisis?


    Of course they know this. Only the naive think that Governments and politicians are stupid. There may be times when they're misinformed, but they're certainly not stupid. They just don't care. Their agenda comes first, and that is always, power, status and money. In other words; votes.

    There is almost no desire whatsoever within Government, or opposition for that matter, to 'change' anything for the benefit of society. Only to benefit them.

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    I’m crying on the floor with hilarity. Another liberal (in nature as well as party) thinking he’s come up with a solution to housing issues by spouting nonsense that actually makes it worse for everyone. ‘Only 100% affordable new builds’ means no developer willing to supply them. ‘Ban S21’ whilst complaining there aren’t enough houses to rent. ‘Planning permission for second homes’ etc when planners are already overrun with months of backlog and the seller is stuck with a limited market. Let’s see how long those local businesses that rely on holiday footfall like it when tourists have been banned from staying for the weekend and any remaining holiday accommodation is through the roof on prices. These idiots don’t have a clue. They campaign for policies that cause problems whilst bemoaning the obvious results. Think of the politicians who claimed Section24 wouldn’t raise rents or homelessness! You’ve got to laugh!!


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