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Letting agents call for short-lets crackdown in London

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Letting agent trade association Propertymark has urged London’s Mayor to crack down on short-term lets through licensing in a bid to tackle over-supply in the capital.

With mayoral elections taking place on Thursday, it warns that more needs to be done to improve enforcement where landlords aren’t complying with local planning laws or the 90-day limit for short-term lets.

The body says enforcement authorities must be able to distinguish between using a primary residence for short-term lets when the property is being under-utilised and landlords renting out entire properties on a full-time basis.

It adds: “At the discretion of local councils, we think local authorities in London should consider implementing licensing of short-term lets if there are specific challenges from over supply.”

Propertymark has outlined its housing plan for London which also urges the mayor to avoid rent controls, pointing to a 13% rent rise in Scotland following rent caps and controls. Instead, it believes flexible tenancies and rent prices driven by market forces have led to PRS success in London and across the UK.

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Landlord licensing should end when a new property portal is introduced, and in the meantime, landlords who use qualified and regulated agents should be exempt from paying fees. It also believes the mayor should work with employers to offer interest-free loans to more London renters to help them pay for their deposit in instalments.

Policy and campaigns officer, Tim Thomas (main image), says: “London is facing a housing crisis and more must be done to boost supply across all tenures, work with councils to deliver more homes more quickly, utilise land under the mayor’s control and provide more support to existing homeowners and landlords to make energy efficiency improvements to their property.”


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