Better get used to this face!
Local councils may be given the authority to block listings of homes on short-term rental platforms under plans proposed by the Levelling Up Secretary, Michael Gove. It is intended to address concerns about the displacement of residents from their communities due to excessive short-term rentals. The plan is expected to be implemented later in the year after a consultation to determine the maximum period for which property owners can rent out their primary residence.
The announcement has triggered a wide range of stakeholder reactions. Lucy Frazer, Culture Secretary, and UKHospitality have backed the government's decision, with UKHospitality advocating for a mandatory registration scheme for short-term lets. Theo Lomas, Airbnb's CEO, and Andy Fenner, the UK STAA CEO, have also expressed support for a registration scheme but cautioned that legislation should not be politicized.
Some have pointed out that England is following similar legislation introduced in Scotland last year, and the outcome of a Judicial Review in Scotland may affect the developments in England. Scotland's urgent fundraising effort is underway to challenge the new short-term rental legislation, which could harm the broader UK short-term rental market.
Should the English be concerned?
Yes is the answer if the Scottish debacle is anything to go by. To get onboard and support the various lobbyists and industry experts (remember, the Govt can read newspapers and hear the loudest public outcries, valid or not (if it bleeds, it leads). This development needs careful thought and intelligent and practical implementation.