Local short-term let rules are the only way to ensure balance

Responding to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) consultation on the registration options for a short-term lets (STLs) licensing scheme in England, Propertymark stated that any scheme should not be compulsory for local authorities if they can prove they are having no impact on private rented sector supply in their area.

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Striking a local balance

There is clear demand for STLs in some areas of the UK, and a national framework should exist, however, any legislation must be targeted to resolve specific local shortages of housing supply.

Propertymark believes that a balance must be struck between the local tourism industry and housing needs with local authorities (LAs) being best placed to run the schemes and decide if they are necessary for their area. Plus, sufficient resources must be provided to prevent a scheme from being used to plug historic funding gaps.

Speaking out for the PRS

We have long called for licensing schemes to bring parity between the short-term lettings and privately rented sector. Not only would this ensure STLs meet the same standards as other rented properties, but in recent years, there have been concerns that landlords moving from the private rented sector to STLs would worsen supply issues within the PRS. This has been backed up by research conducted by Propertymark.

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25 Oct 2022
The impact of short-term/holiday lets on UK housing

This research piece presents an updated picture of the current market for short-term lets (STLs), looks at the broader costs/benefits to our communities, and potential solutions that could maximise the benefits while minimising the drawbacks as seen by property agents.

That being said, there is clear demand for STLs in some areas of the UK and any legislation must be targeted to where it impacts the supply of housing the most.

Homebuilding remains the real solution

Construction of more homes in the private and social sectors is a primary driver to relieve pressure on the PRS and reduce issues currently created by STLs. An overall increase in supply would limit house price inflation and allow more local first-time buyers to get on the ladder.

Levelling the playing field

STLs offer property owners high yields, flexibility to use their property how and when they would like, and a reduced regulatory environment compared to the PRS. Our member agents told us many times that the high rents paid on STLs are a key incentive for owners to let in this market.

PRS landlords have seen an increase in regulation, interest rates, as well as pressure to not increase rents – leading to an inevitable lack of investment in new rental property and many deciding to leave the sector altogether. This then creates an imbalance, especially with the most vulnerable tenants who are on low incomes, who then have the greatest difficulty in finding decent, secure accommodation. This is why Propertymark has urged the UK Government to bring forward a pro-growth tax agenda for the PRS as soon as possible.

Read our full consultation response here