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Tenants hurt by growth in short term lets, says study

Tenants are finding it harder to access long term homes to rent as Government policy is driving landlords to move into the holiday lettings market, according to the Residential Landlords Association (RLA).

The warning comes as new figures show that Airbnb accommodation now accounts for one in every four property listings in some parts of the country. This follows a study published by ARLA Propertymark which found that nearly half a million properties could be left unavailable for longer-term rent as more landlords exit the market in favour of short-term lettings.

According to the RLA, one of the main reasons for this is the change in the taxation of landlords, which is driving many landlords out of the long-term sector. The full impact of the restriction of mortgage interest relief to the basic rate of income tax applies from April, making many landlords significantly worse off or even unable to make a profit on their lettings. This change does not apply to landlords with short-term lets so encouraging long-term landlords to move into that market.

There is mounting evidence that this, along with the 3% stamp duty levy on the purchase of extra housing and other measures affecting landlords’ confidence, is causing a drop in the supply of long term rented homes when demand continues to increase.

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