HC Deb 14 July 1997 vol 298 c8W
Mr. Gordon Marsden

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what plans he has to curb the development of unlicensed and unregistered private households offering bed and breakfast facilities to visitors outside the six-bed rule. [7713]

Mr. Raynsford

The "six-bedspace" exemption from rates was designed to ensure that those who provide extra accommodation in peak periods during the summer, or in out of the way places, are not put off doing so by the threat of a rates bill. However, we see no reason to exempt from rates anyone who offers accommodation when the use of property for this purpose is clearly non-domestic so, to qualify, the use of such property for bed and breakfast must be subsidiary to its use as a residence.

The Valuation Office Agency have issued guidance to their local offices on interpretation of the subsidiary use test to ensure that it is being applied correctly.