According to the government, around 96% of holiday homes currently qualify for small business rate relief (SBRR) and as a result, pay no business rates at all.
The government has previously noted that owners of holiday lets currently pay business rates rather than council tax if the owner declares that they intend to make the property available to let for 140 days in the coming year, but the government has also acknowledged that checks to verify this were not undertaken.
It was announced today that this will change from 1 April 2023 so in addition to the requirement that furnished holiday lets (FHLs) have to be available to be rented out for 140 days a year to qualify for SBRR; from April 2023, second homeowners will have to prove that their holiday lets are being rented out for a minimum of 70 days a year to access SBRR.
Holiday let owners will have to provide evidence such as the website or brochure used to advertise the property, letting details and receipts.
Secretary of State for Levelling Up Rt Hon Michael Gove said: "However, we will not stand by and allow people in privileged positions to abuse the system by unfairly claiming tax relief and leaving local people counting the cost. The action we are taking will create a fairer system, ensuring that second homeowners are contributing their share to the local services they benefit from."