Torbay’s MP, Kevin Foster has today (Wednesday 29th June 2022) welcomed the launch of a new call for evidence on both the benefits and challenges presented by the rise in short-term and holiday letting seen in England over the last 10 to 15 years.
The scale and nature of England’s guest accommodation offer has changed significantly over the last 10 to 15 years, driven primarily by the growth of online platforms. This has led to a significant number of new entrants into the market, particularly owners of what would otherwise be residential premises converting them to offer short-term and holiday letsWhilst some of these changes have brought benefits to our tourism sector, the rise in short-term and holiday letting has also prompted a range of concerns. These include the impact on the housing market and questions around health and safety standards. This has been reflected by feedback to Kevin from residents of properties which had been let to local families as homes, being converted into short term lets, making it harder for many key workers to find a home at rent which is affordable to them. There is also concern some properties may have the size and occupancy of a small hotel, but without meeting similar Fire Safety requirements.
Many other countries and cities have introduced measures in recent years to address some of these concerns and Kevin is pleased the Government believes the time is now right to look at the situation in England. The call for evidence seeks views and data on the size and shape of the market, as well as the positive and negative impacts of short term lets. This information will enable the government to develop proportionate, evidence-based policy options for future consultation.
The call for evidence is open to everyone and will run for 12 weeks and Kevin is keen for all in the bay to have their say:
Commenting Kevin Foster MP said: “Too many local families are finding it hard to find an affordable place to rent, with some key workers reporting their tenancy has been ended to allow their property to become a short-term let. An appropriate level of short-term lets is good for our tourism sector, helping attract visitors to our bay, yet if the workers it needs cannot find an affordable place to live this will badly damage it. This call for evidence is a chance for all to have their say to create a clear picture of what action needs to be taken to get the balance right.”
The government intends to consult on specific policy options later in 2022.