Tourism Alliance Update – 29th June: Registration Call for Evidence

The Government has launched the consultation calling for evidence on the holiday letting market.

The primary purpose of the consultation is two-fold:

  • To enable DMS to better understanding of the benefits and challenges of the increase in short-term and holiday letting in England, focusing on the size and shape of the market; the application, awareness and enforcement of regulations regarding the health and safety of customers; and on the impact on the housing market and local communities.
  • To gather initial evidence on the potential impact of a range of possible policy responses in order to consider whether there are options DCMS should pursue further through a further consultation.

The Call for Evidence consists of 12 Questions – they are:

  • Are you able to provide us with evidence illustrating the size and nature of the short-term and holiday letting market in England and/or its regions, and how that has changed over time?
  • What do you consider to be the main benefits of short-term and holiday letting for:

a) Homeowners

b) Consumers

c) Businesses and the wider economy

  • How do you assess levels of compliance with regulations on:

a) Fire safety

b) Gas safety

c) Health and safety

d) Food and drink

  • Do you consider there to be a problem with breach of contractual agreements in the short-term and holiday letting market in England? If so, why?
  • Do you consider there to be other legal provisions concerning the supply of short-term and holiday letting to paying guests which are not covered elsewhere in this call for evidence but where there are issues with awareness, compliance and/or enforcement?
  • Do you consider the increase in short-term and holiday letting in England to have had adverse consequences on the housing market?
  • Do you consider noise, anti-social or other nuisance behaviour in short-term and holiday lets in England to be a problem? If so, why?
  • Aside from the impacts on housing and incidents of anti-social/nuisance behaviour, do you consider the increase in short-term and holiday letting in England to have had other adverse impacts on local communities and residents?
  • Which of the following do you consider to be the most appropriate form of response in the short-term letting market?

1 – Do nothing

2 – Provide more information to the sector

3 – Develop a self-certification registration scheme

4 – Develop a registration scheme with light-touch checks

5 – Develop a licencing scheme with physical checks of the premises

6 – Regulatory alternative to a registration system, such as extension of the Deregulation Act 2015

  • What do you consider to be the costs and associated burdens of these options, who would bear the costs and how might they be mitigated?
  • Do you have any insight or evidence on the impact of schemes that are already running, or approaches taken elsewhere in the world?
  • What has been the impact of the Deregulation Act 2015, specifically changes made by section 44 to the Greater London Council (General Powers) Act 1973?

As you can see, while there are the questions related to regulatory compliance and customer health and safety that we were seeking, there are also a number of questions related to impacts on local communities which will elicit a strong response from groups seeking to impose tight restrictions on the ability for use residential properties for tourism accommodation. We will therefore have to develop a co-ordinated response with robust evidence which highlights the difference, both in impacts and benefits, between tourism accommodation businesses and second homes. I will start working on this so it you have an data/ views you would like included, please let me know.

The call for evidence closes on 21 September 2022 with DCMS intending to publish a summary of responses later in 2022.