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Growth in Airbnb-type lets “concerning” for the private rented sector

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ARLA Propertymark is calling for government action to stem an increase in landlords turning to Airbnb-style short-term lets. The industry body wants to see a level playing field between long and short-term lets when it comes to regulation and taxation.

It also wants ministers to consider limits on short-term lets in areas where they impact on the supply of rental homes.

According to research from ARLA Propertymark, for its Impact of Short-Term Lets report, 10% of landlords are considering switching to short-term lets. This would mean 50,000 fewer properties for long-term tenants, pushing up the cost of renting.

Figures also suggest that 4.5 million properties, the equivalent of 19% of the UK’s housing stock, have been used for short-term lets.

The number of active UK listings on Airbnb rose by a third in 2018 – in London the number has risen four-fold from 18,000 in 2015 to 77,000 in 2019.

David Cox, chief executive of ARLA Propertymark, said: “The growth in short-term lets is particularly concerning for the traditional private rented sector.

“As landlords are continuously faced with increased levels of legislation, it’s no surprise they are considering short-term lets as a chance to escape this.

“Unless the sector is made more attractive, landlords will continue to exit the market resulting in less available properties and increased rent costs.”

ARLA wants the government to consider the issue when bringing in new legislation which may incentivise landlords to opt for short lets.

The report follows a study by London Councils, the body representing the capital’s 33 boroughs. It found that more than 73,500 flats and houses were available on the six leading short-term letting portals – equating to one in 50 London homes. London Councils has also called for greater regulation of the sector.

Read more about this story on the Property Wire website.

Neil Jennings

Neil is the Operations Director at Assetgrove Lettings, London's Leading Rent Guarantee Company, providing Landlords with no voids, property maintenance, fee-free property management and stress-free service.

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