Friday 1 July 2022 10:45 AM Second-home owners may face SURPRISE inspections under plans to protect ... trends now

Friday 1 July 2022 10:45 AM Second-home owners may face SURPRISE inspections under plans to protect ... trends now
Friday 1 July 2022 10:45 AM Second-home owners may face SURPRISE inspections under plans to protect ... trends now

Friday 1 July 2022 10:45 AM Second-home owners may face SURPRISE inspections under plans to protect ... trends now

Surprise inspections could soon be the norm for second home owners under plans being considered by the government to regulate holiday lets - after scores of locals blasted a surge in short-term rentals for bringing 'drunken behaviour', 'shouting' and 'the smell of cannabis.' 

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DMCS) has launched a 'call for evidence', admitting that a surge in properties available on the likes of Airbnb and Booking.com has created 'areas of concern.'

Other than the anti-social behaviour of some tourists, there are are also the effects on the local housing supply, with many landlords opting for more lucrative holiday lets which provide higher returns but reduce the number of long-term rental properties available to locals. 

The number of homes listed on short-term letting websites in England have surged by 40 per cent between 2018 and last year, latest figures show. 

Among the most affected are seaside towns such as Scarborough, where there are 3,000 such lets alone, but also Cornwall, Devon and Whitby, and picturesque areas in near the countryside like Cumbria and York. 

Some hotspots have already hit back, with residents in Whitby, the fishing port on the Yorkshire coast, turning out in their droves last month in a landslide 93 per cent vote to stop builds being sold to rich Londoners amid mounting fears that families are being priced out of the housing market. 

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DMCS) has launched a 'call for evidence', admitting that a surge in properties available on the likes of Airbnb and Booking.com has created 'areas of concern.' (Pictured: Cornwall)

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DMCS) has launched a 'call for evidence', admitting that a surge in properties available on the likes of Airbnb and Booking.com has created 'areas of concern.' (Pictured: Cornwall) 

The number of homes listed on short-term letting websites in England have surged by 40 per cent between 2018 and last year, latest figures show.

The number of homes listed on short-term letting websites in England have surged by 40 per cent between 2018 and last year, latest figures show.

Other than the anti-social behaviour of some tourists, there are are also the effects on the local housing supply, with many landlords opting for more lucrative holiday lets which provide higher returns but reduce the number of long-term rental properties available to locals

Other than the anti-social behaviour of some tourists, there are are also the effects on the local housing supply, with many landlords opting for more lucrative holiday lets which provide higher returns but reduce the number of long-term rental properties available to locals

Along with the coastal town of Whitby which may have sparked a 'quiet revolution' among disgruntled residents, Whitstable, in Kent, Salcombe, in Devon, St Ives, in Cornwall, and Tideswell, in the Peak District in Cumbria, are all likely to follow suit.  

The DMCS says: 'Landlords are argued to be prioritising short-term letting instead of long-term tenancy agreements, reducing the supply of rental accommodation in a given location. 

'There are also related concerns about numbers of second homes, ownership of which could be incentivised by utilising them for short-term letting.'

It adds that residents have complained about 'drunken behaviour, fighting and shouting' as well as 'partying, unlicensed music events, loud pets, arrival and departure at unsociable hours' and 'odour from cannabis'.

Perhaps in an olive branch to fed-up locals, Airbnb revealed this week that a ban on parties brought in during the pandemic would be made permanent.  

But the rules on renting out second homes could get much tougher if the most stringent of proposals are adopted. 

Ministers are looking at six potential responses to the issues raised, ranging from 'doing nothing' to creating a 'licensing scheme with physical checks', reports the Times. 

The most hardline approach would force second-home owners to join a register if they wanted to rent it out, while spot checks would test for compliance with health and safety ruled while deterring anti-social behaviour by guests. 

Councils could also be given extra powers to stop second homes being rented out for more than 90 days, a rule already in place in London. 

Some hotspots have already hit back, with residents in Whitby (pictured), the fishing port on the Yorkshire coast, turning out in their droves last month in a landslide 93 per cent vote to stop builds being sold to rich Londoners amid mounting fears that families are being priced out of the housing market.

Some hotspots have already hit back, with residents in Whitby (pictured), the fishing port on the Yorkshire coast, turning out in their droves last month in a landslide 93 per cent vote to stop builds being sold to rich Londoners amid mounting fears that families are being priced out of the housing market.

Nigel Huddleston, the minister for tourism, said: 'The rise of digital platforms such as Airbnb and Booking.com have led to significant growth in the range and volume of guest accommodation on the market, particularly short-term and holiday lets.

'These platforms have brought many benefits, including new routes to market for many forms of accommodation business, expanded consumer choice and access to new income streams for homeowners.

'We recognise, however, that some have raised concerns about compliance with existing regulations and the impact on local communities.'

He added: 'We go into this call for evidence with an open mind. Your views will ensure we develop proportionate proposals, addressing the challenges whilst preserving the benefits.'

It comes after it was revealed last week that second home owners could be barred from renting them out on hotel websites such as Airbnb

Levelling-up Secretary Michael Gove is devising the plans, which would give powers to regional mayors to curb the numbers of people renting out holiday homes.

The proposal also contributes toward the government's devolution programme granting more powers to local authorities, The Times reports.

The amendment to the Levelling-Up and Regeneration Bill would force anyone planning to rent out their home short-term to seek planning permission under change of use.

Bob Seely, Conservative MP for the Isle of Wight, said: 'We have got to find a way of protecting communities and we are in the market for sensible ideas that can help.

'Places like Devon, Cornwall, the Isle of Wight and the Lake District have lived too long with the problem of hollowed-out communities devoid of life apart from a few months of the year.

'What we need is creative ideas to solve some of these problems.'

Levelling-up Secretary Michael Gove is devising the plans, which would give powers to regional mayors to curb the numbers of people renting out holiday homes

Levelling-up Secretary Michael Gove is devising the

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