The Generation Rent activist group says the government’s proposed clampdown on short let landlords does not go far enough.
At the end of last week the Department for Levelling Up Housing and Communities launched a formal consultation that planning consent would be required for an existing home to be used as a short let.
The government consultation includes another option - whether to give owners flexibility to let their home for up to a specified number of nights in a calendar year without the need for planning permission.
Subject to the outcome of the consultation, the planning changes would be introduced through secondary legislation later in the year and would apply in England only.
Meanwhile another government division - the Department for Culture Media and Sport - has launched a separate consultation proposing a new mandatory registration scheme for short lets.
Those suggestions don’t go far enough for Dan Wilson Craw, a spokesperson for Generation Rent, who says: “The growth of holiday lets has reduced the availability of homes for locals in areas with large tourist economies. The government has rightly recognised that the sector needs regulating.
“A register … is essential but these planning proposals will not reverse the recent trend.
"Under the government's plans, existing holiday lets - including homes that tenants were evicted from to make way for tourists - would get automatic planning permission.
“And few landlords would apply to revert their property to residential use: because it is more lucrative to rent to tourists than to tenants, properties with planning permission for holiday lets will suddenly become more valuable than regular houses.
"The planning proposals might help ensure that future homes built in holiday hotspots are lived in by locals, but compared with the rapid loss of homes in recent years, it will take a long time to restore balance to the rental market, and people will continue to be priced out of the areas they grew up in.
"To avoid locking in the recent loss of homes, and push houses back into the residential market, the government should give councils powers to require holiday lets to have licences. Licences would expire after a set period, and councils with severe housing shortages could place caps on how many could be issued and renewed."
Generation Rent’s preferred licensing proposal is very similar to one put forward last summer by Labour’s shadow housing secretary Lisa Nandy.
From next month the new director of Generation Rent will be Ben Twomey.
Twomey has a Labour pedigree, being the Labour and Co-Operative candidate for Police and Crime Commissioner in Warwickshire in recent elections to the post.
He is also a long-standing member of the Labour Homelessness Campaign and recently gave his backing to a Labour councillor seeking to become the prospective parliamentary candidate for a constituency in Northampton.
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.