Cornwall: Locals are forced to move out of their homes to make way for holiday lets | Travel News | Travel

Cornwall: Locals are forced to move out of their homes to make way for holiday lets | Travel News | Travel

Research from April 2022 showed that Cornwall had over 12,000 second homes by the end of the month, while 20,000 people were on the housing registrar, according to the ITV programme Priced Out: The Truth About Holiday Homes. But second homes aren’t the only problem in the region: the number of holiday lets is rising, and locals are being forced to move out of their rental properties by their landlords to make way for them.

ITV presenter Helen Skelton was in Cornwall earlier this year filming for Priced Out: The Truth About Holiday Homes.

For the programme, she spoke to a number of people being impacted by the housing crisis ravaging the region.

Samantha Evans works in the tourism industry in Falmouth, a busy harbour town on Cornwall’s eastern coast.

She was recently given a Section 21 eviction notice by her landlord, which meant that she, along with her partner, her 17-year-old stepson, and her cat, had just two months to move out of their rented accommodation.

Samantha said: “Very quickly it became apparent that two months was not long enough to secure anywhere.”

Moreover, during the months Samantha had been renting, house prices had “actually gone beyond our capabilities to pay”.

In 2010, a three-bed property in Falmouth cost on average £800 a month to rent.

Today, prices have increased to over triple that amount. A three-bed house can cost up to £3,000 monthly.


Samantha went on to say that what “shocked” her the most was the rules that came with rental properties.

When the Cornwall native was looking for somewhere to live, many landlords didn’t allow children or pets.

Recalling when her landlord told her about her eventual eviction, Samantha said, tearfully: “I remember that feeling, I’m going to be homeless.”

Subsequently, Samantha and her family couldn’t find a home to rent, and, at the time of writing, they live with Samnatha’s partner’s sister.

Three adults, four children, a cat, a dog, and a parrot all live under one roof.

“Without her [her partner’s sister], we would be on the street,” Samantha said.

Meanwhile, Phyllis, 78, who has lived in St Ives – located on Cornwall’s north-western coast – since 1950, added that “the housing situation in Cornwall is dire”.

“It’s a crisis because there is no permanent letting,” she said.

“All landlords want to do is summer let because they make more money – there is no way you can rent. You either buy or go somewhere else.”

Phyllis continued: “If you have a second home and spend a lot of time here, we don’t have a problem with that.

“The basic problem is if you haven’t got any people living here, you haven’t got any children, so you end up losing your school.

“We’ve lost our banks because nobody lives here to bank. You can’t get a dentist, and there aren’t any doctors in the surgery because you’ve got nobody here to register.”

In recent months, locals have targeted second homes with giant graffiti in protest.

On one second home in St Ives, huge letters read: “Second homeowners give something back: rent or sell empty houses to local people at a fair price.”

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Author: Shirley