Shocking report highlights how much Airbnb is sucking properties out of the traditional rental market.

Thousands of landlords faced with burdensome regulations are quitting the private rented sector to offer short-term lets instead. 

ARLA Propertymark’s survey of 1,000 landlords found that 2.7% had moved from having long-term tenants, and says if this was applied across the country, it would equate to 46,000 properties being made unavailable for local people looking for a home.

It fears the shift will have a significant impact on the country’s already stretched housing supply and, because fewer properties are available for long-term rent, a rise in rent costs would be inevitable.

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David Cox, ARLA Propertymark chief executive, says as landlords are continuously faced with increased levels of legislation, it’s no surprise they are considering short-term lets as a chance to escape it.

“Unless the sector is made more attractive, landlords will continue to exit the market resulting in less available properties and increased rent costs,” he adds.

Its Impact of Short-Term Lets report found the assault on the private rented sector was cited by two-fifths (38%) of those leaving, while more than a quarter (27%) were encouraged to switch because they thought they could achieve higher rents.

In thefirst detailed analysis looking at the short-term lets industry across Great Britain, one in 10 landlords (10%) said they were likely to consider a switch to short-term lets.

ARLA says based on this, up to 230,000 properties could be made unavailable for tenants if those landlords who said they were ‘very likely’ to leave actually left.

If this included landlords who stated they were ‘fairly likely’ to make the move, the number of unavailable properties would reach 470,000. 

Highlighting the huge growth in the short-term lets sector, the number of active listings on Airbnb in the UK rose by to 223,000 in 2018 from 168,000 the previous year.

ARLA is urging the Government to consider carefully the impact of any future regulation that might incentivise landlords to start using their properties for short-term lets and to ensure a level regulatory playing field.

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