Policy Issues

A Business Like Any Other

EASCO works to remind and persuade authorities of all sorts that running self-catering holiday accommodation is a business like any other and should be treated accordingly for all forms of taxation, and in every other area where regulatory bodies interact with businesses. Self-caterers are not landlords, we don’t have tenants we have guests, we’re just like hotels except we don’t fry sausages in the morning!

Business Rates Reform

The system of business rates dates back centuries. In theory, each business pays a percentage of rateable value. Rateable value is what it would cost to rent those business premises from a landlord. In the case of self-catering holiday homes, there is no widespread market in holiday accommodation rented by operators and then sold on to holidaymakers on a short-term basis as holiday accommodation.  The means by which the Valuation Office Agency seeks to calculate rateable value are complex, obscure, and inevitably, despite the agency’s best efforts, prone to anomalies.

Through a Freedom of Information Act request, The HHA is able to publish the tables of values that are used by the Valuation Office Agency to assess the smaller properties with up to 5 bed-spaces in all regions other than London.  These tables show a price per bed-space value charting quality of accommodation against the location. This will enable owners to see what their rateable value ought to be – if you agree with the quality/location position. Download the VOA tables here:

2017-03-28 FOI Reply 11782724

The South West Tourism Alliance has sponsored a report from the South West Tourism Research Company that analyses the Valuation Office Agency’s published data for many thousands of properties in England and Wales  The Impact of Business Rates Rises in the Self-catering Sector.  The report shows that the sector is soon to be hit by a huge increase in rateable values, averaging 45%. It also shows the underlying failure of the VOA methodology to create rational valuations. The average rateable value per bed-space might be expected, in a rational system, to vary according to the size of a property or business in a consistent way, e.g. as businesses got larger, the average price per bed-space might fall, or rise, consistently. Instead, the data shows that the price per bed-space rises with size except that there is a sharp fall for businesses having 5-8 bed-spaces. Whilst this does not prove anything, it is an indicator of a failed method of calculation that does not achieve consistent fair results.

Number of bed-spacesAverage value per bed-space
 1-4 £917
 5-8 £742
 9-12 £781
 13-20 £787
 21-50 £1043
 50+ £1269

You can download and read the SWTRC/SWTA report here:

South-West Tourism Research Company report for South-West Tourism Alliance – Business Rates

Tourism After Brexit – The Tourism Alliance Policy Agenda

The Tourism Alliance, of which EASCO is an active member, sets out the industry’s agenda for tourism policy after Brexit.

Tourism After Brexit 2017




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