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Graham Awards


Switch from long-term lets to Airbnb 'worsens housing crisis'

Landlords selling up or converting to short lets have led to a growing housing crisis, according to a trade body of local authorities. 

Some 76 per cent of authorities surveyed by the District Councils Network say that this had caused a rise in housing waiting lists, causing more people to lose homes, and making it harder to find permanent accommodation for those in need. 

In addition, 48 per cent of these councils said they were now experiencing a significant pressure on housing services due to this.


One council in a popular tourist destination in the south-west of England has reported a nearly 80 per cent drop in the number of open market, long term rental accommodation available in their local authority area over the last three years, with many landlords leaving the market or providing short term accommodation for holiday makers instead.

The DCN says this news comes at the same time as a report by Zoopla revealed that rents in the private rented sector have reached a 13 year high, with a six per cent increase in the last year. 

Councils are reporting that this rise is forcing some long term tenants to apply for hardship support from their local authority, with some council areas seeing rents rise to over a third higher than the average salary in their local area.

The authorities are warning that the housing benefit many suffering hardship receive will likely not be sufficient in the longer term, as the government looks set to keep Local Housing Allowance rates, which determines the amount of benefit received, frozen over the next year.

The DCN says landlords are leaving the market due to the impact of the pandemic, with tenants unable to afford their rents, landlords requiring to move into a property themselves and a rise in ‘staycations’, leading to a boom in the short term holiday let market.

The District Councils Network, representing 200 district councils across the country, is calling on the government to increase investment in council housing and give councils the tools they need to create their own permeant housing for people in their communities in hardship.

District councils stand ready to work with government to proactively increase the supply and quality of homes for benefit claimants, ensuring those in need can have a permanent roof over their heads in their local communities in the future.



The network chair, Councillor Sam Chapman-Allen, says “This survey reveals a perfect storm of problems creating a crisis in the private rented sector across the country.

“Now the government’s eviction ban has ended, this is a problem that could get worse, with councils also seeing increase in the numbers of tenants needing housing support due to increased evictions due to rent arrears.

“During the pandemic, district councils and the government worked together to help protect those who are most vulnerable through the Everyone In initiative, the temporary banning of no-fault evictions, and other measures such as furlough and the Universal Credit uplift.

“We need to urgently tackle this issue by permanently lifting housing benefit for tenants in private rented housing and for increase in government support to invest in a renaissance of council house building to create homes, jobs and growth.”

Want to comment on this story? If so...if any post is considered to victimise, harass, degrade or intimidate an individual or group of individuals on any basis, then the post may be deleted and the individual immediately banned from posting in future.

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    Just wait until EPC C hits! This Govt is walking into a housing crisis of unseen proportions as LLs vote with their feet and move their money away from the PRS into other areas.

    Councils & Govt seem unable to grasp the concept that LLs do not have a responsibility to provide housing and the constant pressures being exerting on LLs is forcing many to reconsider their position.

    LLs are in the PRS to make money and no-one should be surprised that when there are easier avenues to take LLs change direction!


    I agree with you landlords are in it to make money, renters are in it to have a long term affordable roof over their head, so here lies the problem the two have totally different objectives so as you say the state needs to buy up private housing

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    Air b&b could be the way forward for many landlords with the right kind of properties in the right areas, government and councils only have themselves to blame but are too thick and arrogant to see that


    Indeed that is why the state should be the major provider for homes not Joe Smith with a few homes he might or might not rent out

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    I'm using 2 of my properties as Airbnb rentals and will continue to do so. I will be selling all my residential lets. Enough is enough

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    I have a nice holiday home which used to be rented out for holiday lets from April to September and then a six month winter let from October to March.

    In December 2017 the SNP banned me and tenants from agreeing to a mutually beneficial 6 months fixed term tenancy, so I now let it out for short breaks off peak and get further full weeks let during the school October and February breaks plus a further 2 weeks peak rental at Christmas and New Year.

    My total rental income has gone UP and I no longer have to pay Council Tax - just business rates with 100% exemption - so I am several thousands better off but there is one less property available for a family home over the winter.

    Government interference is the main reason for a worsening housing shortage - aided and abetted by Shelter, Generation Rant, Acorn etc.


    lol a winter private rental im sure that is perfect for a family, NOT


    You haven't seen it so can't be sure of anything.

    Your other posts are probably equally ill informed.

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    I'm fed up with saying you were warned.....

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    So what was your suggestion, reduce taxes and so called landlord burdens, no epc rating and no rules on HMO's etc, 1 day notice to issue an eviction, jail not rent payers, sound like a very good idea if your a landlord

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    Here lies the problem to a landlord a renter is a product but to a renter their house is their home, landlords would have turned to air b&b no matter what new or old rental laws their were or are, they dont care if extra income means someone becomes homeless and in law they dont have to care

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    This government sentt troops to secure Polands borders but cant secure its own.
    WE have no idea who the illegal immigrants are, or what their backgrounds are.
    These are the people creating a "housing crisis" for which the government is monstering mom and pop landlords, who are offten charging rent which dosen't cover the running costs.


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