A growing number of buy-to-let landlords are switching to short-term lets, as a consequence of skewed policy that favours holiday homes over long-term properties to rent.
The warning comes as new figures show that Airbnb accommodation now accounts for around a quarter of all property listings in some parts of the country.
This follows a study published by ARLA Propertymark which suggests that almost 500,000 properties could be left unavailable for longer-term rent as more landlords exit the market in favour of short-term lettings.
The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) argues that this is primarily because the tax system favours holiday homes over the provision of long-term homes for private rent, illustrated by the fact that the government is phasing out mortgage interest relief for landlords to the basic rate of income tax, although this measure does not apply to furnished holiday lets.
David Smith, policy director for the RLA, commented: “Government policy is actively encouraging the growth of holiday homes at the expense of long-term homes to rent which many families need. This is completely counterproductive, making renting more expensive and undermining efforts to help tenants save for a house of their own.
“The Chancellor must use his Budget to give tenants a better deal by supporting good landlords to provide the homes to rent that they want to live in.”