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Let’s talk about “Lets”…

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With the advent of online marketplaces such as Airbnb, it’s now easier than ever for people to find the perfect short-term accommodation. Whether it be that summer getaway in the country or a weekend city break, the tools now exist to allow us to choose from literally thousands of options and we can specify our needs right down to the finest detail. If you really want to search for a flat with a hot tub where the host speaks Japanese, it really is an option…

However, as the Guardian reports, this easily accessible technology combined with changes that the government made in 2015 that essentially increased the tax that buy to let landlords have to pay, has meant that many investors have left that market and have pivoted to tourism. This has led to a boom in the market for short term lettings and holiday rentals. So much so that it’s having a detrimental affect on local communities, particularly in popular UK tourist destinations such as the south-west of England.


The issue is that there is literally not enough housing for local people to live. Any available housing is in very short supply, which then pushes up prices, making owning if you’re a local, almost impossible.


Compounding this over the last few years has been the cost of living crisis. With a sharp increase in domestic holidaymakers has come an even greater spike in demand for short term lets in popular locations. This perfect storm has arrived quickly and has required an equally swift response from the government.


This year, planning permission will be required for short-term lets, giving local councils more power to control how housing stock is used in their constituencies. In addition, a new national register will come into place, requiring details from landlords of short term lets which will enable local authorities to keep tabs on the situation and in theory, approve or reject planning permission accordingly.


The main question being asked by many is, are these changes enough and do they go far enough? Only time will tell, but for now it’s clear that the government is taking the situation seriously but also wants to be cautious not to go in too heavy so as to damage established businesses, allowing them the time and space to pivot if necessary.


Here at Live Web Chat, we support many small and medium businesses, saving them money by providing real trained staff to answer chats directly on their websites on their behalf. Even better though, signing up with us doesn’t have to be a big decision for your business. We believe in the freedom for businesses to pivot and change direction as they see necessary. You can cancel any time in the knowledge that you won’t be tied into a long-term contract.


Contact us today to find out more about how Live Web Chat can help you convert website visitors into paying clients. You can find out more about what we offer on our website, or by calling us on 01273 741113.



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