New proposals from the Government allowing landlords to offer short-term lets to tourists have been slammed by a leading M.P.
Labour MP Dame Tessa Jowell warned that these new plans could be extremely damaging to the already fragile rental market.
Currently, landlords wishing to let-out their properties for a short period must achieve permission from their local council. The council’s decision will come after they have weighed-up the request against the need to provide longer-term lets for residential tenants.
Short-term lets to tourists slammed
Planning permission regulations were introduced in the Greater London Council (General Powers) Act 1973. Earlier in 2014, the rules, still in place despite the break-up of the Greater London Council in 1986, were described as, ‘unnecessary red tape and bureaucracy’ by the Department for Communities and Local Government.
A debate this week will seek to utilise legislation in order to abolish the rules. Leading ministers are concerned that there are too many inconsistencies in how many boroughs apply and then enforce the regulations.
Dame Jowell said that it was, ‘scandalous that the Government is prepared willfully to shrink further the supply of privately rented houses and flats.’ She went on to say that, the Government should be reforming private renting to give better protection to tenants, not encouraging landlords to turn rented properties into what are in effect unlicensed hotels.’
Jowell believes that a large number of private rented tenants are being, ‘exploited by landlords constantly bringing in new tenants so they can raise rents.’
The new plans, Jowell continues, ‘will make this problem worse-reducing the supply of stable rented homes and further destabilising local communities.’
An alternative proposition from Jowell is that ministers should enlist councils with more powers to outline local rules. This, she feels, would serve the needs of communities, as well as meeting tourist letting demands.