Last Updated on February 3, 2011 by Mark Lavington

Last chance for holiday home owners to comment on new holiday let rules. New rules on furnished holiday lets will make it more difficult to let certain properties, reduce the number available and act as a barrier to new entrants to the industry. That is the verdict of a Westcountry expert on holiday lettings who is urging affected businesses to express their concerns to Government before consultation on the new rules ends next week (February 9).

John Endacott, tax partner at accountants Winter Rule in Truro and a prominent commentator on the issue of furnished holiday lets, said the revised rules would lead to significant changes in the industry.

They say that holiday lets must be available to let for 205 days in a year (up from 140) and actually let for 105 days in a year (up from 70), which could see more marginal properties in less popular areas fail to qualify. The Government is also tightening up on the ability to offset trading losses against profits, something which Mr Endacott said could deter new entrants to the industry trying to let properties with no letting record. He said: “I’ve no doubt that these new rules will result in consolidation in the industry because the lettings targets are going to be onerous for some owners and planning restrictions may actually prevent some properties from meeting the 210 day requirement.

“The new regime around trading losses is also very restrictive and means it will take a very long time to get tax relief on start-up losses. That will be a barrier to new entrants and high investment into single units does not look like a good business model.”

Mr Endacott said the new rules would probably lead to more owners with greater numbers of furnished holiday lets, but he was hopeful that owner-occupiers of holiday let complexes may be exempt. He added: “Winter Rule will be making further representations to the Government before next week’s deadline so if anyone wants to get in touch they can email me at taxcampaign@winterrule.co.uk.”

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