Secretary of State for Levelling Up Michael Gove has announced plans to clamp down on short term lets, to combat the ongoing housing crisis in the UK. The plans include introducing a new national register that will track the number of short term lets and how they are distributed. Alongside this, they will also be introducing new planning measures for short term lets.

Clamping down on short-term lets is great, but the government has to address why landlords are so keen to offer short-term lets in the first place. The fact is, landlords of short term lets currently benefit from a wider range of tax incentives than those offering residential lets. This has led to an increase in short term lets while, at the same time, residential supply has fallen. That makes no sense whatsoever when we have a housing crisis, not a hotel room crisis.

SpareRoom is calling on the government to level the tax playing field to stop prioritising holiday lets over homes and encourage more landlords to rent out their properties to residential tenants.

National Residential Landlords Association chief executive Ben Beadle has also released a statement claiming that reversing the tax penalties imposed on buy to let landlords in recent years would reduce the impact of short lets on communities.

The average UK room rent was £806 in January 2024, highlighting the need for the government to introduce urgent reform in the housing sector.

We asked landlords and renters how they feel and here are the results:

  • 94% of renters don’t have confidence in the current government’s approach to housing.
  • 86% of renters think we should prioritise homes over holiday lets.
  • 97% of landlords think residential landlords should have the same tax reliefs as short-term let landlords.
  • 94% think that levelling these tax breaks would encourage more landlords to rent out their properties on a long-term basis.