Short Lets Industry Central Housing Group

Short Lets Industry Backs Register Scheme

The fledgling trade body for the UK’s short lets industry has welcomed the government’s proposal for a registration scheme for hosts.

The UK Short Term Accommodation Association says it has itself been advocating such a national registration scheme, in order to collect data on holiday rentals to support accurate reporting and policy decisions.

This registration scheme – the UK STAA claims – is the culmination of months of work between itself and the government.

A report published recently by Oxford Economics found that short-term holiday lets benefit communities across the UK driving spending to the tune of £27.7 billion in 2021, providing around half a million jobs and supporting local businesses. It also found that 56 per cent of visitor spend goes directly to hosts.

Andy Fenner, the trade body’s new chief executive, says: “Holiday lets represent a tiny proportion of the total housing market yet provide vital flexible jobs and investment in our communities. The STAA wants the highest standards across our industry and clear, easy-to-use registration helps us achieve that. We have worked closely with the government’s tourism officials to help develop this registration scheme and are very pleased that it has been announced.”

STAA chair Merilee Karr adds: “It’s critical that any scheme that is introduced is simple and low cost for hosts to register with and straightforward for authorities to run. It must also take into account the benefits that the short-term holiday lets industry brings to local communities and support owners who rent out properties that would otherwise sit empty. Any new regulatory solution should recognise our industry as an important part of the wider UK tourism proposition, which means we need a solution that gets the balance right.”

The government announcement of a registration scheme, plus consultation on whether residential properties should require planning consent, came in a surprise announcement last week.

The ideas were part of a package of concessions made by Housing Secretary Michael Gove to Conservative backbench MPs who were angry over planning powers to build new homes. Those concessions majored on watered-down housing targets which had previously said 300,000 new homes a year should be built.

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