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Staycation- what do you want from your holiday home?

As a property developer, I absolutely love looking at different properties and I get to see some beautiful homes (and some NOT so beautiful) inside and out. It got me thinking about where I stay and why on holiday?

My first choice would always be the sun and warmer climates. However this year we’ve experienced a UK staycation in beautiful Cumbria. We are currently in the Lake District surrounded by natural beauty. What is it that ticks all the boxes for your holiday? Is there a treat you must have in your holiday home/apartment/room?

Guess what my guilty pleasure has been this trip?

Holiday Homes loophole leaves renting almost impossible in some cities

The HMRC views holiday lets as a trade rather than investments. This means mortgage interest costs can be offset against any income for tax purposes. If you have used a mortgage or loan to pay for a holiday let, you can claim the interest of repayments back against your tax.

Holiday lets count as a business which means the expenses from your rental income can be deducted before you are taxed. This includes the interest you pay on your mortgage. For buy-to-let properties, on the other hand, the law has changed, and this is no longer the case.

It means letting holiday homes has become a relatively cheaper expense and is therefore more profitable if you are occupied for most of the year.

This is leading to quite a few cases where long term tenants are being evicted from their homes, so the landlord can do it up – as one requirement is that it is adequately furnished – and rent to tourists looking for a home, away from home. Plymouth has become a city of holiday lets and in fact so much so, they have an ongoing petition to slow it down.

Cornwall has 62 homes to rent on Rightmove but 10,290 Airbnb listings. In one village in Wales, three quarters of the houses are holiday homes.

Anything that reduces cost will look attractive, particularly in this climate where the three-month temporary solace of mortgage holidays offered a preview to an advantage that could be experienced permanently (for now anyhow), as a landlord, if you just made the switch.

Ruthless Impact

Tenants become vulnerable to eviction, through no fault of their own, when regular landlords aspire to become holiday let landlords.

This becomes even more real during these uncertain times of Covid. As we are being asked to holiday at home the opportunity for these holiday lets arises with the threat of eviction rising too. The eviction ban lifted from protecting tenants in May 2021. Tenants could find themselves on the street with no roof over their head. 

This generation, looking to buy a home in their childhood neighbourhood stand no chance with fewer residential properties to purchase and the ceiling prices unreachable. Renting too will be impossible with higher demand and higher rent. Young people will be unlikely to afford.

Ironically, local business owners who require a workforce to keep their businesses running to cater for tourists, will struggle finding the workforce who have nowhere to live locally.

Should the loophole be closed?

Removing the holiday let mortgage relief would return the incentive to prioritise people looking for a home, not a holiday.

It would open up a more competitive rental market for those wanting to live in these sought-after holiday towns where many grew up/want to return to.

It’s tricky because the nation has become more accustomed to Air BnB or, as opposed to the traditional hotel establishments. We increasingly opt for a more ‘authentic’ travel, where you can experience the city, the way the locals do, including living like they live. A home away from home.

Maybe the answer is to incentivise regular landlords who simply rent to those that need a home to level out the playing field.

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“Young people today have such a tough time, on every level. If people have a roof over their head, everything shifts for them.” 

Lorraine Thomas is a risk-taking, change-making, life-enhancing visionary. She took a leap from a successful career in business development for the legal sector to property development, where one of her key focuses is helping young disadvantaged adults get on the ladder. 

Over half of the investment property that Lorraine renovates through her company, View from My Window, has a social element attached to it and part of her business focuses on encouraging a new breed of landlord with a social conscious. 

“When my parents first came to this country, when they knocked on that door and there were those signs saying, ‘No dogs, no Irish, no blacks’, somebody took a chance on them and said ‘okay you can rent a room with me’. I want to be that person today. We are taking a chance on people who other landlords wouldn’t,” she explains.

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Challenges of Young People today – good news in tough times

View from my window is all about lifting others. It provides Property with Purpose putting a roof over the heads of those some landlords would run a mile from. We are proud to say that amongst other disadvantaged groups; we accommodate young adults who are going through a tough time and often looked after by the Borough.

So why are young people disproportionately up against it? I’ll highlight some of the major challenges in a moment. However, first some good news which prompted me to write this article in celebration rather than doom and gloom.

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One of my daughter’s best friends, Nicole Elkington following sixth form decided to take an apprenticeship locally. She originally wanted to go to university to study law but decided university wasn’t for her. My daughter Tia who actually wanted to do an apprenticeship did a U-turn and went off to University in Birmingham instead. They swapped positions.

Nicole’s first apprenticeship position didn’t work out so she decided to leave. Like many young people she had to think long and hard about her next steps. Back to college, find another job, remain unemployed etc. She decided to look for work and after being told NO a few times she picked herself up and changed direction. She applied to Ryanair. Yes an airline during the pandemic! Very clever. She knew that one day they would be flying again to full capacity when this pandemic was over. Her forward thinking, flexibility and determination paid off.

After weeks of training and preparation she passed, got through and holds that well earned certificate today. She is now one of Ryanair’s cabin crew and has found her wings.

So if you are reading this as a young person or the parent of a young person who doesn’t quite know what to do especially during this pandemic don’t lose hope. ‘Pivot’ and look for something outside of your comfort zone or original thought process. It may be that you have an entrepreneurial spirit and want to start your own business. Whatever it is perhaps look at getting a mentor to help you find your wings.

Challenges at a glance that Young People today are facing

Education – Research conducted by YMCA found that 44% of young people have concerns about their studies and exam pressures. Living life last year online added to the stress.

Financial instability – As university and housing costs rise, young people are unable to easily chart a course for their future. Many young people are faced with remaining at home after school or university.

Employment – with COVID Young People are often last in so first out in the workplace. Research shows that young ethnic minorities will find themselves in far greater numbers out of work during and following the pandemic.

Mental Health crisis – More young people than ever are experiencing mental health difficulties. This can affect all areas of their life: home, school, friendships and relationships. The stigma surrounding mental health still exists too.

Social Media – and all the drawbacks it brings with needing to be on it but it causing low self-esteem, body issues, privacy issues. The challenges are complex and varied.

Peer Pressure – missing out or not fitting in. Gang related issues, violence and group issues too all add to their peer pressure.

Body image – anxieties impact the lives of many young people. This ties in with social media and the impact that has.

Climate Change – It’s no surprise that some of the most visible and outspoken climate change activists are teenagers or young adults. They view it as an urgent problem that needs immediate action.

Uncertainty – over the future is a major concern for many young people. The future for them and their families following COVID.

With all of the above let’s support our young people. The pressures this generation of young people face is significantly different to any other.