As the rental space became overwhelmed with paper and legislation, holiday letting was a breezy, carefree alternative. No tenants, licences or council visits. Not for much longer!
Not as onerous as HMO, but it's just the start...
The government is introducing new regulations that will come into effect in the next few months, and it's important to understand how these changes will impact holiday lettings.
The new legislation, called the Holiday Homes (Short-Term Lettings) Bill, currently under it's second reading, it isn't contentious and will likely pass with few objections. It will require landlords to register their properties with their local council if they want to offer short-term holiday lets. This means that you will need to provide your council with certain details about your property, such as its location, size, and number of bedrooms, as well as your contact details and the dates when you intend to offer holiday lets.
The purpose of this new legislation is to ensure that holiday letting is safe and properly regulated. By registering with the council, you will be required to comply with certain safety standards, such as having working smoke alarms and gas safety certificates. In reality it is another step towards gathering data on every property, and its use.
In addition to the safety regulations, the new legislation will also require landlords to pay a fee to register their property. The exact amount will vary depending on which local council, but it's estimated to be between £50 and £100 per year. Judging by the proposed fee for HMO licensing, I would expect it to be closer to £500 in our area. This fee will go towards the cost of administering the registration system and carrying out safety checks.
One thing to be aware of is that the new legislation only applies to properties that are let for less than 28 days per stay. If you offer longer-term lets or have tenants who live in your property full-time, then you won't need to register under these new rules. However, if you do offer short-term holiday lets, then you'll need to comply with the new regulations or risk facing fines and other penalties.
So what should you do if you're a landlord who offers holiday letting? The first step is to keep an eye on the PCC website for any updates and on the progress of The Bill. It's also a good idea to talk to other landlords in your area to see how they're preparing for the changes and what steps they're taking to comply.
Once you understand the regulations and requirements, it's important to make sure that your property is up to the necessary safety standards. This might involve carrying out some upgrades or installations, fitting smoke alarms or getting a gas safety certificate. You should also make sure that you have appropriate insurance in place to protect yourself and your guests in the event of any accidents or incidents. This should go without saying of course. We welcome regulation of those operators that unfairly profit by not adhering to basic safety standards. Let's hope that the new guidance is applied fairly across the City and that rogue operators are tackled.
Finally, you'll need to register your property with your local council before offering any short-term holiday lets. This should be a straightforward process, and your council should be able to provide you with guidance and support if you need it. Once you're registered, you'll be able to offer your property to holidaymakers with confidence, knowing that you're providing a safe and regulated service.
The new legislation for holiday letting in the UK is designed to improve safety and regulation for landlords and guests alike. By understanding the requirements and taking the necessary steps to comply, you can pre-empt the legislation to ensure that your holiday letting business is successful and sustainable.