A new government study will investigate the impact of holiday lets on housing supply across cities and coastal resorts across England.
It is considering proposals for regular property inspections to ensure rules on health and safety, noise and anti-social behaviour are obeyed. Other possible new measures include a registration ‘kitemark’ scheme with spot checks for compliance on issues such as gas safety, a self-certification scheme for hosts, and better information or a single source of guidance setting out the legal requirements for hosts and landlords.
There have already been suggestions that the government plans to ban second home owners from renting out their properties on websites such as Airbnb by giving powers to regional mayors. It has also allowed councils to charge second home owners council tax if their properties are not genuine holiday lets.
The UK Short Term Accommodation Association wants a national registration scheme to assess the state of the industry. “This is a necessary step before any targeted policy solutions can be developed,” says CEO Merilee Karr. “It is crucial that this process takes into account the differences between those short-term rentals that take place in homes that people live in and those that take place in purely investment properties.”
However, NRLA chief executive Ben Beadle believes the growth in holiday lets is a direct consequence of the government’s attack on long-term rented housing. “Tax policies actively discourage long-term investment in the private rented sector by landlords,” he says. “With a Housing Secretary that wants to shrink the size of the sector, it is little wonder many landlords have jumped ship to the holiday lets market.”
Elsewhere in the UK, new laws in Scotland will require all local authorities to set up a licensing scheme by October 2022, while in Northern Ireland tourist accommodation cannot be provided without a valid certificate issued by the national tourist board and Wales has announced plans to establish a statutory registration or licensing scheme.