Consultation on Holiday Lets: Are they destroying communities?

Airbnb was founded over a decade ago and has been a hot go-to for tourists or those looking for a bigger bang for their holiday buck. 

But can Airbnb also be responsible for damaging the local community?

The government recently announced that there will be a consultation for plans that will introduce a national register in the UK for holiday lets. This will examine their effect on the local housing supply and determine whether greater compliance is needed with health and safety regulations. 

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The problem has arisen for communities in picturesque locations such as Devon – a hotspot for tourists and UK residents alike. In 2021, Devon saw a staggering 70% drop in private rented properties over the last two years, as landlords opted to swap to short-term holiday rentals instead. 

Council leader John Hart has stated that, 

If teachers, nurses and young professionals were turning down opportunities to work here because there’s no accommodation to rent, that’s got to change.

Steps of Action

  • Housing Minister Christopher Pincher has revealed that a consultation on the situation is due this year. Following the consultation, the government will now be bringing changes to the tax system.
  • This national register will be shedding light on how many holiday rentals there actually are in England. 
  • Announced today (January 14th, 2022), Michael Gove stated that homeowners who leave properties empty while pretending to let them to holidaymakers will also be targeted. Owners of these second homes who abuse a tax loophole by claiming their often-empty properties are holiday lets, will then be forced to pay under tough new measures. 

Pincher confirmed that they proposed to consult on the introduction of a tourist accommodation registration scheme in England:

so that we can build an understanding of the evidence and the issues that second homes present, particularly when driven by the rise of online platforms such as Airbnb.

Today’s landlords are looking to invest in buy-to-let properties now more than ever, and with interest rates on buy-to-lets being some of the lowest we’ve seen in years, it makes sense that a lot of young people are investing in properties. 

We are now also seeing that locations with high levels of second-home ownership are reporting a number of private rentals are Airbnbs – which in turn places pressure on the area’s ability to attract a workforce and offer housing support for key sectors to support the economic recovery. 

So landlords should think twice before investing in a holiday let where the location is vital for the livelihood of local residents.

Create a listing on Mashroom

Check out which cities offer the best buy-to-let opportunities in 2021 before making your move. And if you’re struggling to find tenants for your property, Mashroom can help maximise your chances by advertising on the most popular property listing websites. You can create a free listing here in just a few simple steps. 

Landlords are vital to their local community and local community support is vital for landlords, so we hope that this reform will help give greater knowledge of how we can preserve and sustain local housing, the workforce, and the local lives of many. 

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