Government review seeks to improve the holiday letting market

A review into the effect of short-term holiday lets has been launched by the Government to improve the holiday letting market for those living in popular tourism destinations.

Focusing on the impact of increases in short-term and holiday lets in England, the scheme could include physical checks of properties to guarantee rules are followed in areas such as:

Health and safety
Waste
Noise and anti-social behaviour.

Additionally, the Government is contemplating including a registration ‘kitemark’ scheme with spot checks for compliance with regulations on issues including:

Gas safety
A self-certification scheme for hosts to register with before they can operate
Better information or a single source of guidance setting out the legal requirements for providers.

Tourism Minister, Nigel Huddleston, commented on the scheme:

“We want to reap the benefits of the boom in short-term holiday lets while protecting community interests and making sure England has high-quality tourist accommodation.

“While no decisions have been taken, this review will help us work out the options to look at so we can protect our much-loved communities and thriving holiday industry.”

Rise in business

The news comes following the recent increase in use of rental booking websites and apps, such as Airbnb.

In Airbnb’s green tourism report, 72 per cent said that the environmental advantages of home sharing affected their choice to travel using that platform.

In another report by the firm in 2018, it was revealed that a typical UK host on their platform earns an average of £3,100 a year.

However, the Government understands there can be an effect on housing supply and prices, and there are fears caused by evidence of a rise in anti-social behaviour.

Smaller protections for guests caused by disregard of health and safety regulations are also amidst worries.

To tackle this, the call for evidence will run for 12 weeks, allowing the Government to gather the data to inform any future steps, seeking the views of all parties, including hosts, online platforms, accommodation businesses and local authorities.

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