A new online calculator highlighting how much more rent landlords can make by letting to holidaymakers via Airbnb across a range of UK cities instead of making properties available for long-term rent has been launched by blinds specialists Thomas Sanderson.
The online tool, based on landlord surveys, will undoubtedly appeal to the thousands of buy-to-let landlords who are considering converting their property to a short-term holiday let.
Nationally, ARLA Propertymark estimates that as many as 500,000 private rented homes could soon switch from the traditional private rental market to holiday or short-let accommodation, owed primarily to tax and legislative changes in the PRS.
There has been major growth in the short-term lets sector, with a new report from ARLA Propertymark, in partnership with leading research consultancy Capital Economics, revealing that the number of active listings on Airbnb in the UK rose by 33% to 223,000 in 2018 from 168,000 in 2017.
The study, which looks at the scale of Great Britain’s short-term lets sector and the wider implications on the PRS, also shows that 16% of adults have let out all, or part, of their property at least once in the last two years – equating to 8.2 million people.
This suggests 4.5 million properties, the equivalent of 19% of the UK’s housing stock, have been used for short-term lets, which works out at 24.2 million properties.
A key concern with the increase in short-term lets is the impact it’s having on the private rented sector and the tenants who will suffer due to a fall in the number of properties available for long-term rent.
Cllr Jacqueline O’Quinn of Brighton & Hove City Council, commented: “I find this type of online [Airbnb rental calculator] tool deeply disturbing as it means taking rentals out of the long-term rental market and making them short-term i.e. holiday lets.
“This means depriving families of rentals in the city and depriving those who work in the city of somewhere they can live.
“This has a negative impact on the city as we need to be able to offer long-term accommodation to those who live and work here.”
Generation Rent, an organisation that represents private renters, is calling for councils across the UK to crackdown on Airbnb and other short let platforms, and has launched an online petition, which you can view on the 38degrees website.