Landlords diversifying into holiday lets could see renewed demand, as the cost of living crisis limits some people’s ability to holiday abroad.
When mortgage interest tax relief began to be withdrawn back in April 2017, landlords wanting to make smart decisions to maintain profits started to look around for solutions. For some, investing in limited company buy to lets presented a more tax efficient solution.
Holiday lets too offer tax benefits, as they are automatically classified as a business. As such, this niche within the buy to let sector has seen significant growth. Not least as a result of soaring demand, when the Covid-19 pandemic fueled huge interest in holidaying at home.
Reports in the media since suggest that the demand for holidaying in the UK has not dwindled. Whilst UK weather is not what you would call reliable, there is great appeal in avoiding the slog of an aeroplane journey at either end of your getaway.
What’s more, holidays in the UK are very flexible, and so the cost can be more easily controlled. So for those wanting a holiday but are strapped for cash, there is no need to finance a full 7 or 14 days more typically associated with going abroad. Holiday lets in the UK can easily be booked for 5, 10 or however many days make it affordable.
Not only this, but with no need to fly, the travel time cuts into your holiday far less, meaning a holiday at home for the same number of days can feel longer to one abroad, as you don’t necessarily lose the best part of two days getting to and from your house.
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Holiday let mortgage availability
When the Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng mini-Budget became public, holiday let lenders – amongst many others – retreated into their beach huts, taking many of their products with them.
However, the good news is that with the economy settling, holiday let lenders are back, back, back.
Latest data from financial data analysts Moneyfacts shows that there are 411 holiday let mortgage products available to landlords in the UK, across 34 different brands. This is an increase of 233 holiday let products since October 2022 and an additional 8 lenders coming into the marketplace to offer lending solutions.
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New legislation from April 2023
On 14th January 2022, Michael Gove announced new legislation that cracked down on second home owners purporting to be offering property as a holiday let, but actually leaving them vacant.
The new rules come in on 1st April this year, and require holiday let properties to have been rented out for 70 days of the year in order to qualify for business rates and to avoid paying council tax. Evidence will be required in the form of website or brochure information for the premises along with letting details and receipts.
Not only will holiday let property have to be physically rented out for 70 days, but it must also be available to rent for a minimum of 140 days to qualify for the tax reliefs this sector benefits from.
The greater impact of this new legislation will be on those people with second homes who were not actually renting out their property to holidaymakers.
For most landlords looking to diversify their portfolio, these new requirements should not have significant effect, as renting out your property for as long as possible is the business objective.
Source: Commercial Trust