Threshold Statement on Government approval for stronger controls on short-term lets

General News

Threshold, the national housing charity, today welcomed a Cabinet decision to curb short-term letting of non-principal private residences in Rent Pressure Zones (RPZs). 

However, they cautioned that the new plans – which mean that from 1 September next, online platforms will not be able to advertise properties in RPZs that do not have the requisite planning permission – need to be fully enforced and better regulated than they have been under 2019 legislation to address the issue. Threshold chief executive John Mark McCafferty also noted that this is a temporary six-month measure until the Government devise a longer term plan:

“We welcome this legislation, but it must be enforced, and behaviour needs to change, in order for more short-let properties to return to the longer-term rental market, “ he said.

The 2019 legislation on short terms lets hasn’t worked – very few hosts sought or received planning permission, yet short-lets hugely outnumber the availability of long-term rentals for families and individuals.

“It is an important development that the rental platforms are now covered by the new legislation – they will not be able to advertise properties in RPZs which do not have the required planning permission.

We still have concerns for areas outside of RPZs where short-term lets might distort the local housing market in a significant way, as they are doing in some places right now.

While this legislation is not a silver bullet for the supply of homes in the private rented sector, it will help in returning homes back to longer term rental, which is critical right now.”

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