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.
The Scottish Government want to understand how they can help councils make the best use of existing housing in their area, including managing the numbers of short-term lets, and second and long-term empty homes, where these are causing local housing issues.
A Department for Culture, Media & Sport consultation has been launched looking at three high-level possible approaches to a registration scheme with detailed questions about the design.
Pressing housing questions were put to the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities in an oral session in the House of Commons on Monday 20 February 2023, with the Secretary of State, Michael Gove giving some reassurance to landlords and tenants, however, the long-promised Renters’ Reform Bill is still awaited.
Recognising the fact that some members in Wales operate for landlords of short-term holiday lets, Propertymark has responded to the Welsh Government’s consultation to establish a statutory licensing scheme for all visitor accommodation in Wales.
The Scottish Government has announced more time for hosts of short-term lets to apply for a licence. The deadline has now been postponed for six months from the original deadline of 31 March 2023 to 1 October 2023.
If the main driver of the proposals from the Welsh Government is to increase housing options for local people, they need to support landlords and increase housing supply where tourism is in high demand, including taxation incentives, boosting local authorities’ levels of Discretionary Housing Payments and improving positive communication with landlords.
The Welsh Government’s proposal to provide discretionary powers for local authorities to apply a visitor levy in Wales should see any revenue raised ringfenced to tackle any housing problems within the local authority area. This could also solve the chronic lack of housing options for vulnerable people and working families.
Putting local communities at the forefront is the next step for the Bill, with the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLHUC) announcing housing targets are to remain but are a starting point with new flexibilities to reflect local circumstances.
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.
Propertymark has been outspoken in the past over how the proliferation of short-term lets risks reducing the size of the private rented sector. An increase in short-term and holiday lets also reduces the number of homes for people to purchase which increases house prices as supply is reduced.
Scotland’s Short-Term Lets Licensing Order takes effect on 1 October 2022 which will be the first step taken within the UK to officially monitor short-term lets by requiring all councils in Scotland to have an operational licensing system.
Propertymark is calling on both letting and estate agents from across the country to share their thoughts and experiences as they look to scope out the extent of the issue through an online survey.
In February 2022, the House of Lords Built Environment Committee opened an inquiry into the impact of short-term lettings on housing markets. In response to claims that there was no link between short-term let growth and housing shortages, Propertymark provided its own briefing to the Committee in June 2022.
The UK Government is seeking views on balancing the needs of the tourism industry in England and understanding the benefits of short-term and holiday lets, whilst assessing the challenges it may pose to the housing market.
Are proposed changes to the thresholds that short-term holiday let businesses must meet to be eligible for non-domestic rates (NDRs) sufficiently clear?