By Dominic Cole

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government have opened a consultation into the ability for holiday lets to register for business rates, rather than Council Tax which has allowed over 45,000 properties to qualify for small business rate relief and therefore escape a charge completely.

Properties are valued for business rates when owners declare their property is available to let as ‘holiday accommodation’ for 140 days or more in a year. There is currently no requirement for any evidence to be adduced as to the property actually being let by third parties, which, some argue, leaves the system open to abuse.