Short-term lets being ‘scapegoated’

Holiday let owners are being unfairly blamed for rising house prices and availability, which has led to the abolition of the Furnished Holiday Lettings regime.

The Chancellor opted to remove the regime, citing the desire to level the playing field between short and long-term rental stock. It will take effect in April 2025.

However Ben Edgar-Spier, head of regulation and policy at Sykes Holiday Cottages, said: “Holiday let owners have been unfairly scapegoated in the guise of controlling rising house prices and availability.

“Short term rentals truly are the economic lifeblood of many parts of the UK, driving spending, providing direct employment and supporting local businesses alike. It’s therefore illogical to penalise these short-term let businesses over those with empty second homes – which contribute nothing to local economies – when you consider these benefits.

“The reality is there are potentially hundreds of factors at play when it comes to housing and rental prices. That includes empty homes, with nearly 1.4 million in England alone or 16 times the number of holiday lets, but also the government’s lack of progress on housebuilding targets. As highlighted by the CMA just last week, only 178,000 homes were completed across England last year against a target of 300,000.

“Putting pressure on holiday let owners will not solve the housing crisis but instead risks impacting the very businesses that support tourism spend and employment in communities across the country. We’re here to support our holiday let owners and guide them through these changes, working together to continue to meet the nation’s demand for staycations.”