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Short-term let restrictions threaten traditional holiday homes

Alistair Handyside, Chair

Alistair Handyside, Chair | Professional Association of Self-Caterers UK and the Great British Holiday campaign

2 min read Partner content

Traditional, well run holiday homes have been a mainstay of the British way of life for decades. Across our rural and coastal communities, short term lets bring in tourist spend and help to keep rural pubs alive. I know well how much work goes into the running of a brilliant holiday let – I run one

In recent years some policymakers have become, rightly or wrongly, concerned about the holiday let sector. This kind of activity is very different to the network of holiday let owners that my organisation represents. Our sector ensures good quality, responsibly managed and, critically, affordable holidays are available without having to leave the UK.

Rural pubs can often stay open thanks to the cash brought down by people from London coming for a weekend away. For many a hotel is too expensive and so the use of locally-run, holiday rentals allow everyone to enjoy an affordable quality holiday without having to get on a plane.

For areas like the beautiful part of Devon that I live in, the importance of the continual flow of holiday makers to part with their cash in our pubs and other hospitality businesses cannot be understated. Rural pubs are having a hard enough time as it is without this crucial customer base suddenly drying up.

So it was with a great deal of concern that we saw the Government’s proposals to hurt our sector.

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities has consulted on the introduction of a use class system for short terms lets. If designed poorly, this measure could significantly damage the ability of responsible holiday cottage operators to do business and provide the great holidays that Brits rely upon to relax.

In parallel, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport has consulted on the introduction of a registration scheme for short term lets in England. This is a good policy and should help bring together a single source of data for effective monitoring of the sector.

A registration scheme to track and monitor the use of short-term lets will provide everyone with a full account of holiday-lets. Conversely, the proposed introduction of complicated planning consents for local people to get some extra money from letting out good quality self-catering would likely cut off much needed holiday-makers cash from those communities that rely on it most.

Responsible short term let owners and agencies help families to explore and enjoy Britain by providing affordable, high-quality holiday accommodation and in turn, secure vital employment and economic stimulus to the rural communities they visit.

We believe that responsible organisations in our sector play a vital role in the social fabric and economy of the country, contributing greatly to the wellbeing of our guests, and the strength and sustainability of the communities we serve.

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