Update January 2023
A Compulsory Registration Scheme For Short Lets in England is now proposed by the government and included within the Levelling Up & Regeneration Bill currently going through parliament & expected to become law in April 2024. It would be prudent therefore for all short let owners to register their short term rentals for Business Rates before the new registration scheme starts to hit the media. It is currently a requirement that holiday lets are registered for Business Rates opposed to Council Tax & it is highly likely therefore that a new Registration Scheme will only register short lets that are on the Business Rates register. I understand there is already a waiting list for new applications for Business Rates and I would suggest owners apply now before the real rush.
Many urban short lets naturally attract longer / extended shorter term tenants & landlords may prefer to simply use our specialised advertising & tenancy agreement. Our bespoke Break Clause Tenancy Agreement will be automatically permitted for most buy to let situations, landlords are simply offering a tenancy on flexible terms.
Under the new rules in England, self-catering accommodation will be assessed for business rates rather than council tax only if the owner can provide evidence that:
*“Commercially” is defined in the legislation as being “on a commercial basis, and with a view to the realisation of profits”. This will usually mean the property being let at market rates and actively advertised, for example through commercial marketing sites and publications. Lettings to friends or relatives at zero or nominal rents will not be covered.
These rules apply from 1 April 2022, but as they require retrospective evidence over the previous 12 months they do not come into effect until 1 April 2023.
A property that becomes newly available as a holiday let (or that is purpose built as a holiday let) will be liable for council tax for each day until it has been available for 140 days and let out for 70 days in the previous 12 months. On the day that these two criteria are met, assuming the property will continue to be available for 140 days in the coming 12 months, it will qualify for a business rates assessment.
For example, a property that is first advertised as a holiday let would be liable for council tax for the next 140 days. If it was actually let out for 70 of these days, on day 141, it would qualify for a business rates assessment (provided the owner intended to advertise it for 140 days in the coming 12 months).
If you own a holiday let self-catering accommodation you should ensure you are now gathering the evidence required to meet the new rules.
The Valuation Office Agency is contacting customers from 24 October 2022 to let them know about the new eligibility rules and will be sending letters to owners of self-catering properties currently in the business rates list.
The Valuation Office Agency will be carrying out compliance checks to ensure properties meet the new requirements and moving properties back to the council tax list if they do not. If you feel your property will not meet the new requirements you should contact the Valuation Office Agency as soon as possible to avoid a large backdated council tax bill.
Property owners can make sure that their holiday let complies with all the Health and Safety checks and certificates required, by gaining Accreditation with Visit England (the official Tourist Board Accreditation). Owners should keep proper records & certification of gas appliances and boilers, smoke detectors, Carbon Monoxide detectors, chimney sweeping, etc.
Landlord Direct can assist their clients to obtain this Accreditation and back up - contact firstname.lastname@example.org
All letting agents in England must now by law be registered with a Client Money Protection Scheme which gives certain protections to client monies held by a property agent, make sure your letting agent is registered with one of the following approved schemes;
This also gives confidence to guests booking holiday cottages directly though an agent's website.
If you would like to discuss the future of your short let property, and to discuss the different ways to market short term rentals then please complete the property form below and we will contact you to discuss your short let property requirements;