NEW: Minister Reveals More Detail On Looming Holiday Lets Registration Scheme

The government has announced its new registration scheme for short lets will launch next autumn, scotching opposition MPs’ repeated calls for a licensing scheme.

During the latest Commons debate about a new clause to the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill, Housing Minister Lucy Frazer (main picture) promised to consult on the issue of making short-term lets a separate category of planning use early in the new year, which would hopefully be followed by legislation.

While Airbnb has long called for a national register for the short-term lets sector, Labour and Lib Dem MPs including Rachel Maskell asked the minister why she wasn’t bringing in a scheme that would enable local authorities to determine areas where they could exclude the expansion of Airbnbs or control licences.

Landlord switching Conservative Derek Thomas said there should be a way to curtail the opportunity for a landlord to switch a home to a holiday let. “I ask the Minister to consider including second homes in the consultation,” he said.

“With that measure in place, Cornwall Council and other local authorities can assess the housing need and choose to decline a change of use application, protecting the home for permanent residents.”

Frazer said it was important to first establish which areas were causing issues so it could make evidence-based policies, ensuring those communities were not hollowed out.

Work better “Our amendments focus on making the planning system, and the systems that interact with it, work better, innovating and improving for the benefit of all our constituents.”

Chair of the UK Short Term Accommodation Association, Merilee Karr (pictured), supports a registration scheme which she says must be simple and low cost for hosts to register with and straightforward for authorities to run.

“It must also take into account the benefits that the short-term holiday lets industry brings to local communities and support owners who rent out properties that would otherwise sit empty,” she adds.

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