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Concerns raised as 10% of landlords consider adopting Airbnb model

Some 10% of landlords are considering switching to short-term lets, ARLA Propertymark’s Impact of Short-Term Lets report has found.

Should that many landlords depart from long-term letting there would be 50,000 fewer properties for long-term tenants – which could push the cost of renting up.

David Cox, chief executive of ARLA Propertymark, said: “The growth in short-term lets is particularly concerning for the traditional private rented sector.

“As landlords are continuously faced with increased levels of legislation, it’s no surprise they are considering short-term lets as a chance to escape this.

“Unless the sector is made more attractive, landlords will continue to exit the market resulting in less available properties and increased rent costs.”

In response to the findings ARLA Propertymark recommended for the government to carefully consider the impact of any future regulation that may incentivise landlords to start using their properties for short-term lets.

It also recommended for a level regulatory and taxation playing field between short and long-term lets.

ARLA also called for the government to consider introducing limits on short-term letting activities in areas in which there is a demonstrable impact on private rented housing supply.

The number of active listings on Airbnb in the UK rose by a third (33%) in 2018 to 223,000, from 168,000 in 2017.

In London the number of active listings rose four-fold from 18,000 in 2015 to 77,000 in 2019.

Edinburgh has seen growth in short-term lets triple, with 32,000 active listings in the Scottish capital in 2019, up from 11,000 in 2016.

Some 16% of adults have let out all, or part, of their property at least once in the last two years – equating to 8.2 million people.

This suggests 4.5 million properties, the equivalent of 19% of the UK’s housing stock, have been used for short-term lets.