9:05 AM, 24th August 2017, About 5 years ago 2
A survey of 1,500 landlords across the UK conducted by the RLA showed that 7% are now using Airbnb or similar sites to offer their properties as short term of holiday lets.
The RLA concluded from these figures that if this trend was consistent throughout the whole PRS then potentially 134,400 homes have been taken out of the housing stock as main residences.
The RLA are connecting this trend to Section 24 mortgage interest relief restrictions increasing the tax burden of offering Buy to Let property on long term ASTs. In fact 36% of the respondents offering short term or holiday lets said that Section 24 was the direct cause.
One landlord offering properties on Airbnb commented in the survey, ““I didn’t want to do this, but the tax changes have forced me down this route. Selling is not an option due to CGT, and this iniquitous tax which is effectively retrospective is unjust in that my buy to lets are a business, just like any other. There will be less properties available to rent as a result of this tax.”
The shift to using Airbnb and other types of short term let is particularly acute in London with a 75% increase in the number of multi-listings (more than one listing per individual) on Airbnb between February 2016 and March 2017.
David Smith, RLA Policy Director said: “With London and the country as a whole in desperate need of new homes to rent in the long term, it is crazy that recent tax changes encourage landlords to move to the short term holiday let market.
“What we need is a tax system that encourages investment in homes to rent for the long term by good landlords.
“By skewing the market Government policy will serve only to hit the hardest those young people and families who most need a growing private rented sector to meet their needs.”
The RLA along with Property118 and Axe The Tenant Tax are calling on the Government to end the perverse incentive landlords have to move to holiday lets by scrapping the mortgage interest relief changes.
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