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.

Council tax

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.”

Rented housing

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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.

6 COMMENTS

  1. This government is the pits – tying businesses up in red tape in a way that you expect of socialist governments. My local MP complains about landlords turning their homes into AirBnBs while filling up seafront hotels with immigrants. Given that a full-out assault on short-term rentals is coming down the line, where exactly are tourists supposed to stay in my Devon town?

  2. Nobody in MSM ever mentions S24

    This is the main reason why LL are mov ing away from the AST business model.

    Abolish S24 and magically LL will return to the AST sector.

    Unfortunately the appalling Tory anti-LL ideology means S24 is likely to always remain in force.

    If FHL is driven out of business LL will simply sell up.
    They will NOT teturn to the AST sector.

  3. Investors are already leaving the PR sector with the number of properties available for rent being halved since 2019.

    My guess is that small time investors, accidental landlords etc with just one or two properties will continue to leave especially if HMRC run another scare campaign at unregulated investors.

    But one has to ask if one remains calm what does the future hold.

    I suspect that those investors prepared to weather the storm of uncertainty over the next year or so could well reap big rewards as shortages of rental stock will see large increases in rents, return on investments becoming more sustainable and the remaining investors will also have the pick of the crop when it comes to prospective tenants.

    Especially if short-let Air B&B as a sector becomes harder for investors and if the remaining investors have been wise enough to divest themselves of old properties and re-invest in modern stock that carry little or no EPC issues.

    My entire portfolio is rated C with the exception of a single modern flat rated D that with some basic adjustments (Additional loft insulation and upgrade the 20 year old boiler) will be a C.

    Unless the govt makes it illegal I intend to advertise properties at a very high rent and simultaneously offer a discount to those who can guarantee zero pets (verifiable on inspections) as its a “Discount” on a per month basis it can be removed immediately by simply removing the cashback.

    Example…. Flat currently renting at £700 is advertised instead at £850 with a £150 per month cashback discount rewarding non-pet owners. (Why should current non-pet owning tenants be punished in future with blanket rent rises to cover higher costs to the portfolio)

    • Problem is that HMRC will assess tax on total rent.
      Not sure any ‘cashback’ would reduce tax bill.
      If S24 is involved even more awkward.

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