'Everywhere is a holiday rental': Lake District man struggles to get his first time home

Chris Brook has spoken to ITV Border about his difficulties getting house viewings in the Lake District. Credit: ITV Border

A man from the Lake District has opened up about the difficulties he has experienced of trying to get on to the property ladder as "everywhere is a holiday rental."

Chris Brook, an outdoor instructor, has told ITV Border: "It's becoming increasingly difficult to find viewings or get anywhere in the Lake District.

"Everywhere we have looked at, there's been people there before us and then there is two or three viewings and there's been a bunch of people after us, and then trying to get your application in as fast as possible.

"There are so many people now who are having to stay at home because everywhere is a holiday rental.

"To be able to rent or be on the property ladder for the first time is almost impossible."

It comes after second homeowners in England could require planning permission to use their property as a holiday let in a tourist hotspot, under new government proposals.

A consultation has been launched by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, which would introduce the requirement for planning permission to turn an existing home into a short-term let in areas where there are high numbers of holiday homes.

There would also be a registration scheme introduced for properties which are used as holiday lets.

Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove said the plans will stop local people from being “pushed out of cherished towns, cities and villages" by the rising numbers of short-term lets.

“Tourism brings many benefits to our economy but in too many communities we have seen local people pushed out of cherished towns, cities and villages by huge numbers of short-term lets", he said.

“I’m determined that we ensure that more people have access to local homes at affordable prices and that we prioritise families desperate to rent or buy a home of their own close to where they work.

“I have listened to representations from MPs in tourist hot spots and am pleased to launch this consultation to introduce a requirement for planning permissions for short-term lets.”

  • What is a 'second home'?

A second home is a residence you intend to occupy for only part of the year. Typically, a second home is used as a vacation home, but owners themselves can also visit regularly - particularly if you have business in that area.

This means longer term tenancies for locals in the community are usually unavailable in second homes as they cannot be continuously rented out for the entire year.

In some circumstances, the properties will see an influx of people during the summer months, but can then sit empty for long periods of time in the winter.

  • What are the concerns around second homes?

The UK already faces a housing shortage. House prices and rents have both increased significantly, with the lack of affordable homes being one of the main issues for people.

When second homes are added into the debate, more homes are taken up which leaves fewer for people to buy or rent and thus drives up prices further.

Some argue these holiday homes can push locals out of their own communities, particularly young people, who can't afford to get on the property ladder. This can also affect job prospects and the local economy - altering a town's identity altogether.

  • Watch Fiona Marley Paterson's report here.

Estate Agents in the Lake District have criticised Government proposals as they say it "is not going to fix the problem."

Sam Ashdown, from Ashdown Jones Estate Agency, has said: "The problem isn't licensing second homes and holiday homes - the problem is actually incentivising landlords.

Ms Ashdown also mentioned that those living in rentals are paying so much in rent they are not able to save enough money to put a deposit down on a house to buy.

"When you put a house up for rent, you get tens, if not hundreds of people wanting to rent in that house. And because of that, that pushes the rental prices up" she adds.

"I can see what the Government are trying to do. What they're trying to do is reduce the number of holiday lets in each area. But it's already happened."

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