Question: We are hoping to buy a home in Devon, which would be our main residence. We rent a property in London and intend this arrangement to continue after buying in Devon. Occasionally we will have spells of working in London, so at those times we would like to be able to rent out our Devon home as a holiday let.
We have been looking around the Salcombe area, where some homes have Devon Restrictions on them, which we have never heard of before. I am originally from Devon and we’ve been told we can satisfy the Devon Restrictions. But if the property we end up buying does have a Devon Restriction, would we be able to use it for holiday lets?
Answer: Restrictions will generally show up on the registered title of the property, so your solicitor will be able to confirm if it is affected.
In general, the restrictions prohibit the property being transferred to anyone who has not lived or worked in Devon for the previous three years. Sometimes, consent will be given for a property to be transferred to someone who has lived in Devon for a cumulative total of seven years in the past 20 years.
The idea behind the Devon Restriction is to enable local homes to be available and more affordable to local people.
A property that’s subject to a Devon Restriction may generally also be let to a tenant who has lived and/or worked in Devon for the previous three years, but its use will be restricted to that of a main residence, so it cannot be used as a second or holiday home. This will prohibit your using it subject to a Devon Restriction for holiday letting.
Do remember that any property may be subject to covenants restricting its use — to that of a private dwelling, for example, or prohibiting business use. So do seek legal advice regarding the covenants imposed on any place that you are considering buying, especially as you have holiday letting in mind.
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We regret that questions cannot be answered individually, but we will try to feature them here. Fiona McNulty is a legal director in the private wealth group of Foot Anstey.