Hundreds of second homes turned into holiday rentals in Dorset

NEW data shows there are hundreds of homes newly registered as holiday rentals in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole, despite concerns about the impact of increased tourism on local communities.

The coronavirus pandemic has led to a “staycationing” boom, with vacation home prices skyrocketing in tourist hotspots, and many looking to capitalize by converting their second homes into vacation rentals.

New figures from the Government Valuation Office Agency, provided by Altus Group property experts, show there were 637 holiday rentals in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole trading as businesses at the end May, 294 more than in mid-March 2020, before the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

The figures cover second homes that are registered as business premises, meaning they must be available for at least 140 days a year, but do not include other second homes used for private holiday rentals.

Groups have highlighted the increased pressure of rising tourism on some communities, particularly those in rural and coastal areas, such as rising rents and stretched local services.

Generation Rent, a charity that campaigns for fair housing, said there were “countless” stories of tenants being evicted to make way for a vacation rental.

The charity’s deputy director, Dan Wilson Craw, said: ‘The popularity of national holidays last year, combined with the lack of regulation and tax benefits, has fueled the appetite for holiday homes. vacation and private housing tenants.

“Taking houses off the residential market price for people who want to settle where they grew up.

“It destroys communities and starves local businesses of workers.”

Department for Levelling, Housing and Communities records from September 2021 show there were 5,147 properties registered as second homes for council tax purposes in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole.

Secretary of State for Upgrading Michael Gove said the government wanted to encourage “responsible” short-term renting.

He said: “We will not sit idly by and allow people in privileged positions to abuse the system by unfairly claiming tax breaks and leaving local people to bear the cost.

“The action we are taking will create a fairer system, ensuring second home owners contribute their share to the local services they enjoy.”

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