“I went door knocking in one village near Hawkshead and every house was empty apart from one where there was just a man in his 70s.”
Mr Farron said the knockon effect was that schools close because there are no children to go there any more, bus services are cancelled and shops go out of business.
“It seems wrong that people who own these homes are not even contributing financially to the community,” he said. “Many people would think it was fair for them to actually pay extra to help keep services alive even if they are not there for much of the year to spend money in the community.”
Mr Farron wants to force property buyers to seek planning permission for a second home designation.
The MP said: “That way the number of second homes in a village could be limited simply by the council refusing to give planning permission.”
He added: “We need to restrict the impact that second homes are having on communities.”