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Generation Rent calls for holiday lets to be licenced

licencing short lets

Generation Rent has called for even stronger action to be taken against holiday lets which it says have been “making life a misery” for renters in the UK’s most popular tourist destinations.

The tenants’ group says it’s concerned that the government isn’t going far enough to regulate holiday lets, and wants the government to introduce a licence scheme.

The Chancellor abolished the Furnished Holiday Lettings tax regime in his Spring statement, which Generation Rent believes will help nudge landlords back into the residential sector and make their homes available to live in again, bringing rents down. The government has also promised a register of holiday lets and new planning powers for councils.


However, the group warns proposed planning changes could backfire if it becomes harder to bring properties that switched only in recent years back into the residential market.

It has been keeping track of the loss of homes to the holiday market by looking at the number registered as second homes for council tax, and the number of homes registered as commercial holiday lets for business rates. The latter must meet a minimum criteria to qualify, but get another tax break, Small Business Rate Relief, if the rental income is lower than a certain amount.

Second homes

It found that there are 263,000 second homes in England, up from 245,000 in 2015 and 253,000 in 2019, and 77,000 commercial holiday lets, up from 39,000 in 2015 and 53,000 in 2019. In total, the increase has been 57,000 since 2015 and 36,000 since 2019.

Generation Rent adds: “This leaves fewer homes to live in, pushing rents up, and pushing locals further away from their workplaces and families.”

Read a complete guide to insuring a short-let property.


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