All short-term lets in Wales will soon have to be registered and licensed under plans announced by the Welsh government.
Providers will need to meet a new set of standards to demonstrate compliance with safety and quality requirements - and pay a licence fee.
Following a public consultation, legislation is expected to be introduced to the Senedd before the end of the year. Scotland already has a licensing scheme for short-term lets, while the UK government is also looking into a registration approach.
In Wales, the first phase will be a statutory registration scheme to detail the range of visitor accommodation across the country and will include who is operating in the sector and where and how they are operating. Once a registration scheme is set up, a licensing scheme will follow.
The move is part of a package of measures to address the negative impact second homes and short-term holiday lets can have on the availability and affordability of housing for local people.
Speaking during a Senedd debate, Deputy Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism, Dawn Bowden (pictured), said because of the very lax conditions around short-term holiday lets, there had been a propensity for landlords to move towards that sector using accommodation that could otherwise be used for living accommodation.
She told MSs: “The part here about levelling the playing field is very clear; it is about saying that if you are going to rent accommodation to somebody, whether it is for a short-term let to enjoy a holiday or whether it is living accommodation, the standards that should be met should be equal.”
Bowden added: “We intend to focus our licensing efforts initially on short-term lets that could otherwise be used as residential accommodation.”
Photo: Visit Wales