The year 2023 promises continued transformation for landlords in the UK as they navigate through significant legislative and compliance reforms. These changes are an ever-evolving economic landscape, making it crucial for landlords to stay informed and adapt to the shifting environment.
According to Ellie Hall, Managing Director of Martin & Co, "There are many upcoming changes that will impact landlords throughout the UK. To ensure ongoing compliance, utilising a letting agent's management service is the most comprehensive approach."
One crucial aspect of such a service is the thorough referencing of potential tenants, which becomes even more vital as the cost of living rises. By employing robust referencing procedures, landlords can mitigate risks and select reliable tenants who meet their financial obligations.
This article provides an overview of the nationwide legislation update for England, its timeline, key provisions, and the parties it concerns.
Table of Contents
Proposed Legislation Overview
New laws are being considered in England to deal with the problem of short-term rentals, especially on Airbnb. If the laws are passed, property owners across the country will have to follow the 90-day limit on renting out their homes on Airbnb instead of just those in London.
The proposed Govt. plans for England also introduce a mandatory registration system for all short-let landlords. Under this system, landlords must register their properties and apply for licensing. The process for registering helps make the short-term rental market more transparent and accountable. Local authorities can check that properties are safe and meet quality standards.
In a notable shift, many local authorities are extending their landlord licensing regulations to encompass standard single-tenancy buy-to-let properties. Previously, licensing schemes primarily targeted Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs). However, with the evolving landscape, landlords must stay informed about these developments and determine if they currently require a licence or may need one.
Permission for Short-Term Holidays
The government is considering legislation requiring homeowners to obtain planning permission before converting their properties into short-term holiday lets, especially in popular tourist hotspots. This measure aims to regulate the proliferation of holiday lets and address concerns regarding housing affordability in these areas.
Flexible Letting Periods without Planning Permission
The government asks people if homeowners should be allowed to rent out their properties for a certain number of nights each year without getting permission first. The consultation document seeks public input on the appropriate duration for this flexibility, with options of 30, 60, or 90 nights annually being considered.
New Regulations for Short-Term Rentals in Tourist Hotspots
The UK government plans to introduce a new nationwide legislation update for England to empower local communities in tourist hotspots and support the tourism industry. The proposed changes, outlined in a consultation released by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, address converting existing homes into short-term rentals. The government seeks to balance providing affordable housing and ensuring the benefits of short-term rentals for tourists and the economy.
Planning Permission Requirement
To address the scarcity of affordable housing in areas affected by many holidays lets, the government proposes implementing planning permission requirements for converting homes into short-term rentals. This measure aims to alleviate the pressure on local communities and ensure the availability of affordable housing options.
The consultation also considers allowing homeowners to let out their properties for several nights each year without planning permission. This approach acknowledges the value of short-term rentals in the visitor economy, offering tourists and business travellers greater choice and accessibility, particularly during major events.
The government aims to balance the benefits of diverse and sustainable accommodation options for tourists and the need for affordable housing for residents. By introducing planning changes and creating a planning use class for short-term lets not used as primary residences, the government seeks to regulate the sector while offering local authorities discretion in implementing planning controls.
Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, Michael Gove emphasises the importance of ensuring access to affordable housing for local communities, particularly in areas heavily impacted by short-term rentals. The proposed planning permissions requirement aligns with the government's commitment to housing affordability and prioritising needy families.
Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer underscores the need to strike the right balance between tourism and housing availability. A national registration scheme for short-term lets will provide valuable data to evaluate the current landscape and address community concerns effectively.
Industry Concerns and the Need for Collaboration
Andy Fenner, Chief Executive of the Short Term Accommodation Association, supports the idea of a resigstration scheme. However, he raises concerns that introducing a planning permission requirement fails to acknowledge the significant economic contribution made by short-term rentals. Fenner emphasises the role of the short-term rental sector in attracting tourists and providing local employment and calls for alternative solutions that do not harm the tourist industry or local jobs.
Timeline and Implementation
The nationwide legislation update for England is still in the planning phase. Landlords need to stay up to date with the latest developments and consult official government sources for accurate information regarding the proposed changes. The legislation's passing date is uncertain due to ongoing discussions and necessary changes.
If the legislation passes, it will affect property owners and local authorities. Owners who rent properties for less than 90 days through platforms like Airbnb must comply with registration requirements. Local authorities will manage the registration process, ensure compliance, and address concerns. The legislation balances property owners' rights with the safety and well-being of guests and neighbourhoods.
As the proposed legislation has not yet been passed, landlords should stay calm and closely monitor official government announcements regarding its progress. Keeping informed about any updates or changes is essential to understand how the potential legislation could impact their short-term rental activities. Landlords should also consult legal professionals or industry associations for expert advice tailored to their circumstances.
The potential new nationwide legislation update for England, currently under discussion, aims to address the concerns surrounding short-term rentals and bring about greater transparency and accountability. If passed, the legislation would extend the 90-day Airbnb rule for Airbnb listings to cover the entire country and introduce a mandatory registration system for short-let landlords. However, until the legislation is officially enacted, landlords are encouraged to stay informed, seek reliable sources of information, and remain prepared for any future changes in the regulatory landscape.
Please note: This article is intended as a guide only and does not constitute legal advice. For more information, visit gov.uk.