A new review has been launched by the Government to help understand the impact short-term holiday lets are having on housing in communities in tourism hotspots.
This comes following the rise in use of rental booking websites and apps, with a large increase in the number of properties listed on platforms such as Airbnb in recent years, especially in high tourist areas like Cornwall.
MP for St Austell and Newquay, Steve Double, has been working on this issue for some time as part of his ongoing efforts to address the current housing situation in Cornwall and the pressure the rise in short-term holiday let accommodation is placing on housing that is needed for local people.
Steve says: “I am pleased to see the Government has listened to concerns and is taking positive action to ensure short-term holiday accommodation plays a positive role in Cornwall in the future.
“I will be encouraging parish and town councils in the constituency to submit evidence to this review and would encourage anyone who has been affected by short-term holiday lets, for example if they have been evicted from their home for it to then be turned into holiday accommodation, to take part in the 12-week call for evidence so that the Government can see the true impact they are having on our communities.
“I want to be clear that this is not a ban on short-term holiday lets as we understand the important part they play in supporting our local economy. This review will give us a better understanding of how we can best support local communities in those holiday hotspots, and also the tourism industry, to ensure that they can both work together.
“This will help gather views and information on the benefits and challenges related to short-term lets so that the Government can determine whether there are options they should pursue.
“Along with the measures already announced, I am pleased that Government ministers are listening to the case that I and others are making for action to be taken to address the housing crisis we are facing.
“I will be responding to the survey in due course after seeking feedback from across the constituency.”
The rise in the use of online platforms for short-term letting has brought many benefits - from an increase in the variety and availability of options to environmental benefits and also allowing people to make money from renting out spare rooms and properties.
But the Government understands there can be an impact on housing supply and price in these areas. Lower protections for guests caused by negligence of health and safety regulations are also a concern.
Tourism Minister Nigel Huddleston said: “We’ve seen huge growth in the range of holiday accommodation available over the last few years.
“We want to reap the benefits of the boom in short-term holiday lets while protecting community interests and making sure England has high-quality tourist accommodation.
“While no decisions have been taken, this review will help us work out the options to look at so we can protect our much-loved communities and thriving holiday industry.”
The commitment to consult on tourist accommodation was first made in the government’s Tourism Recovery Plan published in June 2021.
The Government has already taken action to give local communities greater ability to manage the impact that second homes can have in some locations. These include closing tax loopholes, introducing higher stamp duty and permitting councils to apply higher council tax on second homes.
This call for evidence will allow the government to gather the evidence and data to inform any future steps and it wants to hear the views of all parties, including hosts, online platforms, accommodation businesses and local authorities.
The call for evidence will run for 12 weeks until 11.45pm on September 21.
To view the consultation and respond to it, please follow the link below: