Second home owners exploiting small business grants

St Ives in cornwall is overrun with second homes and holiday lets

The government’s Covid-19 small business grants, in which businesses have been able to claim a £10,000 government grant, is being exploited by greedy second home owners.

While these property owners have no intention of letting their property to a third party, they register their second home as a holiday let in order to avoid the payment of council tax and business rates. As the law stands, this is perfectly legal as long as the property is ‘available’ to let for 140 days a year.

Many thousands of properties across the country are being used in this way and enable their unscrupulous owners to avoid contributing to the local economy while depriving local people of an available home.

It’s a problem in many desirable areas, and one MP suggested that as many as 1,500 properties in the Lake District were ‘masquerading’ as holiday accommodation. Several beautiful towns and villages across the UK have been turned into ghost towns, with property lying empty during the week and over the winter period.

The Treasury said it ‘encourages people to respect the spirit of the measure’, and not take advantage of the opportunity to misuse public funds.

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