Consultation launched on licensing scheme for all visitor accommodation providers in Wales
The Welsh Government has launched a consultation on establishing a statutory licensing scheme for all visitor accommodation providers in Wales.
The primary aim of the scheme is to ensure all parts of the sector comply with their statutory obligations to create “a level playing field” for all visitor accommodation businesses.
Proposals for the scheme are part of the Welsh Government’s Co-operation Agreement with Plaid Cymru, which commits to a licensing scheme for holiday lets as part of a package of measures to address the negative impact they can have on the availability and affordability of housing for local people.
Economy Minister, Vaughan Gething said: “The visitor economy is changing rapidly, and the role of visitor accommodation presents major challenges for communities across the world. For example, the growth of online booking platforms has brought many benefits, such as new routes to market and increased consumer choice.
“However, we are aware of the concerns around compliance with existing requirements and the impact of short-term lets on housing stock and our communities.
“Our plans to develop statutory licensing scheme will be focused on levelling the playing field as part of a long-term response to the major challenges we face.
“Over the course of the past year, we have been exploring and engaging with stakeholders on how such a scheme could work in Wales. As the consultation now opens, we would like to hear further views and would encourage the sector to respond to the consultation.”
Plaid Cymru’s Designated Member Siân Gwenllian added: “Through our Co-operation Agreement, we are taking radical and immediate action to address housing market failures and the lack of affordable housing, using the planning, property and taxation systems to make a difference.
This proposed licensing scheme is part of our approach, making it a requirement to obtain a licence to operate visitor accommodation, including short-term holiday lets.
“There has been a huge increase in the short-term holiday let sector in recent years which is exacerbating the housing crisis in Wales.
While we have a regulatory framework in place in Wales for private rental accommodation, there isn’t one that covers all types of visitor accommodation.
Our proposals will bring greater safeguards to local communities on the use of residential dwellings as short-term holiday lets in particular, whilst enhancing the visitor experience and visitor safety in Wales.”
The Consultation can be found here and responses are due by 17 March 2023.
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Sounds like a sensible idea but it needs to be better organised than Rent Smart Wales, an organisation that really does not seem to have much impact.
Tourism, like the housing market, had had its own way in Cymru for too long, and it’s well past time to put an end to their free ride. This consultation is a positive step forward, and will hopefully produce results of benefit to the areas affected.