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Welsh short-lets landlords 'very likely' to face mandatory licensing says advisor


The Welsh government has given a strong indication that landlords and property owners operating Airbnb holiday homes within its borders are to face a compulsory licensing scheme similar to the Rent Smart Wales scheme for the traditional private rental sector.

This follows a parliamentary scrutiny session with Huw Maguire (main picture), who is the country's Head of Second Homes Policy.

Speaking to a House of Lords Build Environment Committee he revealed that although a consultation on regulation of the short-lets sector is due to start next month, it is likely that a statutory landlord licensing scheme will be 'the way to go'�.

Overall, Maguire said regulation of short-lets would ensure a level playing field between hotels and B&Bs and Airbnb properties, particularly when it comes to health and safety and fire regulations.

Also, he said that his own data suggested that, contrary to many housing activists' claims, the switch by landlords from the PRS to Airbnb was not the problem - but rather ensuring such properties made a fair contribution to the local economy.


Unsurprisingly, it was the Welsh Government's plans to tax short-lets more heavily via council tax that have caused the greatest furore among owners of Wales' 22,000 short-let properties which, in some holiday hotspots such as Abersoch, constitute 50% of local housing.

The Welsh government is already operating a pilot scheme to try out its proposals in Dwyfor, which includes parts of the Snowdonia National Park and several coastal resorts.

'We've taken a bold position on short-term lets and we make no apologies for it but we want to see how plays out, which is why we've been operating a pilot,'� he told the committee.

Watch the evidence sessions in full.


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