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In Cornwall, Devon, Dorset and Somerset alone, 13,085 new properties have started claiming 100pc business rates relief over the past six years.

This is more than double the number claiming relief at the start of 2017, when the Government doubled the thresholds for qualifying properties’ rateable values from £6,000 to £12,000.

Second homeowners in Cornwall are the biggest beneficiaries of the switch, where 12,065 holiday let properties do not pay either business rates or council tax.

Business rates are based on a property’s “rateable value”. In other words, this is an estimate of the rent an owner should be able to achieve from the property.

For properties with a rateable value of between £12,001 and £15,000, the rate of relief will go down gradually from 100pc to 0pc.

So, if your rateable value is £13,500, you’ll get 50pc off your tax bill. If your rateable value is £14,000, you’ll save 33pc.

Local councils will use a property’s rateable value to work out an owner’s business rates bill.

Will I have to get planning permission?

In February 2024, Mr Gove confirmed that all new short-term let owners will soon need to secure planning permission from local authorities if they want to attract visitors on sites such as Airbnb.

So, if you’re thinking of trying to get around council tax by letting out your second home to holiday goers, you may also need to factor in a planning permission application once these rules kick in.

The Government hasn’t said when it will introduce this new planning class, but it has now been confirmed and is no longer just a proposal.

The planning permission rule won’t apply to those letting out their main home for 90 days or less each year.

Will I be able to get a mortgage?

Only one mortgage lender has announced that it has stopped lending on second homes, while the vast majority still do.

Back in August 2022, Leeds Building Society stopped issuing mortgages to second homeowners nationwide to help free up more homes for first-time buyers.

In February 2024, the lender also said it would stop lending on new Airbnbs from March 2024 for 12 months to further alleviate pressure placed on some of England’s limited housing stock. The ban affects homeowners in North Norfolk and North Yorkshire.

Banking body UK Finance said it was not aware of any other lenders following suit.

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