Landlords Evicting Tenants for Airbnb and Vacation Rentals, Report Says

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<p><figcaption class=Photograph: Michal Sleczek/Getty Images

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

Research has found a boom in rental properties being used for short-term leases, caused by an increase in national holidays and increased regulations for long-term landlords.

Related: Holiday homes are ’emptying’ coastal areas, MP says

In tourist areas, this is putting pressure on local provisions, causing housing shortages and driving vital workers away from areas where they are needed, leading MPs and councils to consider drastic measures.

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

The report said: “The council relies on the use of the private rented sector to meet demand [for housing]however, officials report a significant decrease in the availability of rented private sector accommodation in the municipality.

“We have also seen examples of private landlords evicting tenants to convert them [their properties] on Airbnb and vacation rentals.

This isn’t just for beautiful places, 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 from the Greater London Authority found. .

A private member’s bill tabled last week by Rachael Maskell, the Labor MP for York Central, aimed to implement a license to convert domestic properties into short-term and holiday rental accommodation, give local authorities the power to issue tickets and remove licenses, and seek to introduce bans on such properties in certain areas.

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

Related: Now Whitby is also finding out what happens when tourism takes over | alex niven

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

Landlords said it wasn’t just money, but experiences with bad tenants and a lack of flexibility in long-term leases that were driving them to platforms like Airbnb.

A landlord who obtained a court order to evict a tenant who failed to pay rent for 14 months told The Guardian that he would eventually convert his other long-term rentals to Airbnbs.

He has four apartments in Scarborough rented through Airbnb, and another two are private long-term rentals. She said: “I have only kept those houses on insured short leases because I can trust them and families would have a terrible time finding alternative accommodation, which is in very short supply in this tourist area.

“As the houses empty out, I will use them as vacation accommodation if possible. I will not risk having new, different full-time tenants.”

She said that being able to claim expenses, including mortgage interest, installation costs and running costs, made it more lucrative for her pension. “But most of all, I don’t have to worry about bad tenants, antisocial tenants and non-paying tenants that take forever to get rid of.

“I accept that tenants need protection from bad landlords, but good landlords are being penalized along the way.”

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