Sunday, 07 August 2022

Government to review short-term holiday lets

THE government has launched a review into the impact of the increase in short-term holiday lets in England.

It is considering introducing a ‘kitemark’ scheme, which may involve physical checks of premises to ensure regulations in areas such as health and safety, and noise and antisocial behaviour are being followed.

The scheme could also include new spot checks on gas safety compliance, a self-certification system for hosts to register with before they can operate, and better information or a single source of guidance setting out legal requirements for accommodation providers.

Tourism Minister Nigel Huddleston said: “We’ve seen huge growth in the range of holiday accommodation available over the last few years. 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.”

When the review was announced in late June, the Housing Minister Stuart Andrew MP — who has since resigned — said: “Holiday let sites like Airbnb have helped boost tourism across the country, but we need to make sure this doesn’t drive residents out of their communities.

“We are already taking action to tackle the issue of second and empty homes in some areas by empowering councils to charge up to double the rate of council tax. This review will give us a better understanding of how short-term lets are affecting housing supply locally, to make sure the tourism sector works for both residents and visitors alike.”

The rise in the use of online platforms such as Airbnb for short-term lettings has brought many benefits, including an increase in the variety and availability of options to allowing people to make money from renting out spare rooms and properties.

But there can be an impact on housing supply and price in the most popular tourist destinations, and there are fears of a rise in antisocial behaviour including noise, waste and drunken behaviour in local communities.

David Weston, chairman of the Bed & Breakfast Association, said: “We are pleased that the Government is launching this call for evidence. It is the right time to consider how we protect all consumers, regardless of an accommodation owner’s business model, and level the playing field between traditional business and those on newer platforms.”

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