Housing Supply and Rents

Growth in holiday lets symptom of a skewed housing policy

Sally Walmsley
Written by Sally Walmsley

Growth in the number of short-term lets across the country is a symptom of skewed policy that favours holiday homes over long-term properties to rent.

A new report published today by ARLA Propertymark suggests that nearly half a million properties could be left unavailable for longer-term rent as more landlords exit the market and in favour of short-term lettings.

The RLA argues this is in large part because the tax system favours holiday homes over the provision of long-term homes for private rent. 

Whilst the government has almost completed the process of restricting mortgage interest relief for landlords to the basic rate of income tax, this measure does not apply to furnished holiday lets.  


David Smith, policy director for the RLA, said: “Today’s report highlights how inconsistent the government’s approach to the rental market now is. 

“On the one hand the Ministry of Housing wants to encourage more landlords to offer properties to tenants on a long-term basis. 

“On the other hand, the Treasury has a tax system which makes renting out holiday homes more appealing at a time when demand for homes to rent is outstripping supply.

“What we need is a tax system that supports and encourages the majority of hardworking landlords doing a good job to provide the long-term, quality rental accommodation tenants desperately need. We call on the Chancellor to do this in his forthcoming budget.”   

About the author

Sally Walmsley

Sally Walmsley

Sally Walmsley is the Magazine and Digital Editor for the NRLA. With 20 years’ experience writing for regional and national newspapers and magazines she is responsible for editing our members' magazine 'Property', producing our articles for our news site, the weekly and monthly bulletins and editorial content for our media partners.


  • So you’ve just told the government to tax holiday lets as well… They certainly won’t remove the long term renting taxes!

  • Yep, thanks for stoking the fire! Would be no surprise to see mortgage interest scrapped from holiday lets in next the next Budget.

    The Government is in bed with the large housing providers (believe George Osborne was an advisor/on the board at one of them while Chancellor) and are gearing this country toward BTR – they want an end to the PRS full stop.

    No room for the smaller landlords in this game – be it single lets, HMOs or holiday lets. It wants all that lovely stock released back for buyers because it’s home building targets are so wildly inaccurate/unachievable. While it seems to go against everything the Tories stand for (many of them being private landlords themselves), it’s only going one way…

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