Private rented housing ‘converted to Airbnbs’

Councils are warning of a growing crisis in the private rented housing sector, with a sharp rise in landlords selling up or converting their properties into Airbnbs.

The District Councils Networks (DCN) found that 76 per cent of councils surveyed said that this had caused a rise in housing waiting lists, while 48 per cent of councils said they were now experiencing a significant pressure on housing services.

The pandemic has resulted in landlords leaving the market due to tenants unable to afford their rents, and a rise in ‘staycations’, leading to a boom in the short-term holiday let market.

DCN is calling on the Government to increase investment in council housing and give councils the tools they need to create their own permanent housing for people in their communities.

Cllr David Renard, LGA Housing Spokesperson, said: “The findings are concerning and highlight the need to tackle our severe housing shortage by building more social housing, homes that are much more affordable than in the private rented sector. 

“We have set out the case for building 100,000 social homes for rent each year, which would go a long way towards reducing council housing waiting lists.

“We also need to see a cross-departmental government plan to tackle homelessness with long-term investment in prevention and services to support economically vulnerable people and households, to prevent homelessness from happening in the first place.”

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