Landlords evicting tenants for Airbnb and vacation rentals report finds

Landlords evicting tenants for Airbnb and vacation rentals report finds

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Landlords are evicting tenants and moving to Airbnbs and vacation rentals because the money is better and they “don’t have to worry about bad renters.”

Research has identified a boom in rental properties used for short-term rentals, driven by an increase in domestic holidays and stricter regulations for long-term renters.

Related: Vacation homes are ‘eroding’ coastal areas, MP says

In tourist areas, this is straining local supplies, causing housing shortages and forcing vital workers out of areas where they are needed, prompting MPs and councils to consider crackdown measures.

A Scarborough Council report found that the number of private rental properties in the city center has fallen from an average of 25 houses available at any one time in 2017 to six in 2022. The number of vacation rentals increased dramatically over the same period.

The report said: “The council relies on using the private rental sector to meet demand [for housing]however, officials are reporting a significant drop in the availability of private rental housing in the community.

“We have also seen examples of private landlords evicting tenants to move [their properties] in Airbnb and vacation rentals.”

This isn’t just true for beauty spots, as the number of Airbnb listings in London more than quadrupled between 2015 and 2019, in a city with a shortage of long-term rentals, previous research by the Greater London Authority found.

A private Member’s bill tabled last week by Rachael Maskell, MP for York Central Labor Party, aimed to implement a license to convert residential property into short-term and holiday accommodation, giving local authorities the power to impose fines and revoke licenses, and attempt to ban such properties in certain areas.

Last month the government launched a consultation on how to balance tourist accommodation needs with housing for locals. The deadline for responses is September 21st.

Related: Now Whitby is finding out what happens when tourism takes over | Alex Nien

In the meantime, the councils are developing their own solutions. North Yorkshire County Council is considering proposals to introduce a 100% premium on council tax bills on second homes, while new rules come into force in Wales next year requiring second home owners to pay 300% council tax.

Landlords said it’s not just the money, but experiences with bad tenants and a lack of flexibility with long-term rentals that drove them to platforms like Airbnb.

A landlady who received a court order to evict a tenant who hadn’t paid rent for 14 months told the Guardian she would eventually convert her other long-term rentals to Airbnbs.

She has four apartments in Scarborough that she rents out through Airbnb, and two others are on long-term private leases. She said: “I have only held these homes in guaranteed short term rentals because I can trust them and the families would have a terrible time finding alternative accommodation which is in high demand in this tourist area.

“As soon as the houses become free, I will use them as holiday accommodation if possible. I will not risk any other new full-time tenants.”

She said being able to claim expenses like mortgage interest, setup costs and ongoing expenses makes it more lucrative for her retirement pot. “But most importantly, I don’t have to worry about bad tenants, antisocial tenants and non-paying tenants, all of which take forever to get rid of.

“I accept that tenants need protection from bad landlords, but good landlords are punished in the process.”

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