North Devon Council could close a loophole that allows HMO landlords to rent out their rooms as holiday lets.
It has launched a consultation into whether rooms within licensed properties should be rented out on a holiday let basis and whether to insist that all living accommodation is occupied by people as their only or main residence, or by those treated as such under housing law, such as students or refugees.
The shortage of long-term rental properties in places like Ilfracombe (main picture) is a hot topic in the county and campaigners say locals are being left with fewer homes to rent and are priced out by landlords buying for short-term lets.
Last month, the Devon Housing Commission, set up by the county’s local authorities and the University of Exeter, urged the government to introduce plans to manage holiday lets.
Its evidence suggests there has been an increase of more than 10% in second homes across Devon since 2021 while properties switching from long to short-term lettings were a key reason for the 50% drop in private lettings across the county between 2019 and 2021.
North Devon Council has promised to consult letting agents, management companies and HMO landlords during the exercise, which is open until 31st October.
Lead member for housing, councillor Graham Bell (pictured), says: “We believe that engaging with our community on these important matters is essential to crafting policies that reflect the needs and concerns of our residents.
“The input of the community is invaluable in shaping the future of housing regulations in our area so I would encourage individuals to take part.”