Quote Ref: WS1

Landlords move to short term lets to beat tax hikes

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New research by the Residential Landlords Association (RLA) has revealed that an increasing number of rental properties in the capital are no longer available for long term renting and, instead, are being used for short-term holiday lets.

The RLA study found that across London there has been a 75% increase in the number of multi-listings (which are classed as individuals advertising more than one property) on holiday let website Airbnb for the period February 2016 and March 2017.

This is further supported by analysis showing that the number of whole properties and rooms advertised on Airbnb available in London for more than 90 nights a year has increased by 23% during the same period. This is despite planning permission being required in such circumstances, as we reported last year.

The survey of nearly 1,500 landlords across the UK found that:

  • 7% said they had now started to offer properties as holiday/short term lets through Airbnb or a similar platform*
  • 36% of those who have moved over to short-term letting said it was because of the changes to mortgage interest relief.

Commenting on the survey, RLA Policy Director, David Smith, said:

“With London and the country as a whole in desperate need of new homes to rent in the long term, it is crazy that recent tax changes encourage landlords to move to the short term holiday let market.

“What we need is a tax system that encourages investment in homes to rent for the long term by good landlords.

“By skewing the market Government policy will serve only to hit the hardest those young people and families who most need a growing private rented sector to meet their needs.” 

* These are properties that they would have previously been let longer term in the private rented sector. If this was reflected across the whole sector, this would mean a minimum of 134,400 private rented homes moving from the traditional private rental market to holiday or short let accommodation.

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