Property agents urge Welsh Government to restrict licensing of holiday lets to tourist areas only
A leading membership body for UK property agents has said Welsh Government plans to license holiday lets should be restricted to “priority areas only”.
Propertymark offers advice and guidance on buying, selling or renting homes to its members and has warned that regulations of short-term holiday lets, including measures such as Council Tax premiums and a visitor’s levy could impact local economies and jobs.
Although the organisation says it agrees with the Welsh Government’s plans in principal, they do not support a full national roll out as there are “many parts of Wales where visitor accommodation is not in abundance or a concern.”
The 17,500 member strong body acknowledged the issue of high levels of second homes and holiday lets in Wales which can have on impact on housing stock, the economy and the Welsh language but said the Welsh Government should only implement a statutory licensing system in areas of Wales with high levels of tourism.
Propertymark said: “At the very least, this local proposal should act as a pilot before a national scheme is implemented.
“Holiday lets are only an issue in some local authority areas with high levels of tourism. It is right and proper to regulate this accommodation in these areas where they are reducing the supply of homes.”
The Welsh Government first began outlining proposals in July 2022 with plans to make it a requirement for holiday home providers to obtain a licence to operate to help raise standards across the industry and provide a level playing field for all operators.
But Propertymark has questioned the government’s ability to enforce inspections in response to concerns from customers or communities brought to the attention of the licensing authority.
Property mark said: “The Welsh Government simply will not have the resources to police inspections.
“Equally, we recommended that one-off events should be exempt due to the lack of ability to carry out enforcement and that the cost of licences should depend on the number of visitors the accommodation serves to level the playing field between landlords letting out a holiday home and large multi-national hotels.
Although Propertymark said it agrees “to some extent” that there should be a licensing scheme, it’s now calling for the Welsh Government to provide a “definitive definition” of visitor accommodation to stop the private rented sector getting drawn into the legislation.
They added: “We also warned that a few private residential landlords let their properties on a short-term basis to ensure they do not become void.
“Therefore, any work on licensing of visitor accommodation should work in tandem with the Rent Smart Wales licensing regime for residential lettings and landlords should not require an additional license if they are already holders of a Rent Smart Wales Licence.”
The introduction of a licensing scheme for all visitor accommodation in Wales was confirmed last year as part of the co-operation agreement between the Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru.
The scheme is part of a package of measures which aims to address the negative impact second homes and short-term holiday lets can have on the availability and affordability of housing for local people.
Economy Minister Vaughan Gething launched a consultation on the proposals last December, which runs until 17 March.
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