The National Trust owns more than 5,000 houses and cottages. The overwhelming majority of these are leased as rented accommodation. We have 418 holiday cottages.
There is no policy or drive to turn rented accommodation into holiday lets. There is also no evidence to support such a claim.
The overall number of rented homes we own has remained consistent. We have increased the number of holiday cottages we own, by an average of around five a year, over the last three years. That’s a 0.3% increase in holiday lets as a proportion of the overall total.
New holiday lets come from a wide range of previous uses, including from derelict buildings, empty wings of mansions or old staff housing. In some cases, they may have previously been used as a tenanted property which have subsequently become vacant. Holiday cottages have also been converted back to rented accommodation.
We charge the market rate on our rented accommodation taking into account the size, location and condition of the property. The only exception is staff housing, which is subsidised in very specific circumstances. We have a national residential house letting policy, which the Tenants Association of the National Trust were involved in establishing.
We take our responsibilities as a landlord very seriously. We will spend a record £25m in maintaining our houses this year and will continue to invest significant resources into our rented accommodation.
The Trust is always looking at ways to improve and takes any complaints seriously. Last year we completed a major survey of our residential tenants to seek feedback and we recognise there’s always more we can do.
We rent out properties to raise money to look after the special places enjoyed by tens of millions of people every year – around £40 million each year, which is then ploughed straight back into our conservation work, including the upkeep of our rented property.