The Tory MP of a pretty little town has condemned his own government’s plan to deal with tenants’ rights, saying the bill could cause long-term damage to his, and others’, constituency.

Anthony Mangnall said the “devil is in the detail” of the Renters Reform Bill, which has had its second reading in the House of Commons, reports DevonLive.

The representative for Totnes, in Devon, argued the new bill has a serious loophole which would allow holidaymakers to secure rental properties for the appealing summer months, before handing them back – the opposite of the bill’s aim to provide secure rental accommodation for locals.

Nevertheless, the bill has passed its reading and will undergo further scrutiny at a later stage.

Mangnall’s upset came at the clause which removed fixed term rentals.

He complained in the House of Commons that Totnes is “one of the largest second home and Airbnb markets in the country”, meaning it will be vulnerable to the new proposal which allows tenants to hand back a tenancy with a minimum of two months’ notice.

He said: “Someone could come down, pretend they are going to rent a house on the long-term rental market, go there for June, July and August, and then hand back the tenancy”.

He added the clause would “obliterate” the long-term rental market as a result of potential situations like that.

Mangnall said he was concerned about the “unbelievably significant” price disparity between long- and short-term lets in South Devon before adding: “People will rent a house on the pretence that they will stay in it for a significant period. They will be there for the summer, and then they will give it back.”

He concluded by saying “unforeseen consequences” had to be addressed, and that he worries “deeply” about “what the long-term rental market will look like”.

At the time of speaking, only 70 homes were available for rent in South Devon. He said: “We need to incentivise people to put their houses into the long-term rental market so that they can provide that social value.”

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