Latest News

Welsh Government guidance for property agents and landlords

07 April 2020

The Welsh Government has produced Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance covering self-isolation, visiting a property, mental well-being, supporting tenants and business support. Read More...

Propertymark campaign succeeds in including commission in furloughed pay

06 April 2020

Government has amended the eligibility criteria following Propertymark's campaign for agents' commission payments to be included in claims for Furloughed Pay. Read More...

Landlord Income Tax Relief fully phased in

06 April 2020

At the Summer Budget 2015, the then Chancellor George Osborne announced that the amount of Income Tax relief landlords can get on residential property finance costs will be restricted and gradually reduced from April 2017 until April 2020. Read More...

UK Gov guidance – EPCs and COVID-19

06 April 2020

On 2 April 2020, the UK Government released information confirming that the legal requirement to obtain an EPC before selling or letting a property remains in place, but EPC assessments should only be conducted where they can be done safely and in line with guidance relating to Coronavirus. Read More...

Staggering amount of short term lets found to be unlawful

Tuesday 17 March 2020

An online tracking tool that records the scale of short term lets in Scotland has found properties are being let unlawfully, according to a survey by Scottish Green MSP Andy Wightman.

The early results of the survey showed out of 339 commercial short-term lets, only one has planning consent. If these results were replicated across Scotland, Mr Wightman said that would suggest 99.7 per cent of short terms lets in Scotland could be unlawful.

The same issue has been reflected in London where homeowners in the capital are allowed to rent out their properties for short-term lets without planning permission for up to 90 nights a year, but the Greater London Authority (GLA) said that 23 per cent of those offering short-term lets ignored the cap.

Data from Camden council in north London suggested that 48 per cent of landlords are illegally letting their properties out as holiday homes. Councillors said that the problem was so pronounced that schools could not fill their classrooms and families were moving away from the area because of a lack of housing.

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This early picture from my Homes First site reveals the depressing truth of how out of control this sector is. All but one of the properties identified so far have no planning consent to be a short-term let. Any property that should have planning consent but does not is unlawful.

While proposed new licensing powers are welcome, they will not be of much use if owners are so willing to flout planning laws. The Scottish Government’s commitment to regulation is further undermined by the fact that Visit Scotland, which has a strategic partnership with AirBnB, is actively promoting holiday accommodation that is unlawful despite encouraging visitors to book only licensed and regulated accommodation.

Scottish Ministers should ask their own tourism agency to stop advertising unlawful businesses.

The Lothians MSP


Propertymark analysed the scale of Great Britain’s short-term lets sector and the wider implications for the private rented sector in their Impact of short term lets report.

Nearly half a million properties could be left unavailable for residents looking to rent in the private rented sector, as more landlords exit the market and move into short-term lets due to the raft of legislative changes they have been faced with.

Read our key findings, recommendations and the full report below.