Skip to main content

Short-term Holiday Lets: Licensing

Volume 717: debated on Thursday 7 July 2022

The hon. Lady will be aware that, just last week, we announced a review of this very area. It is vitally important, particularly in tourism-affected areas of the country, and I know that her city, which I have had the pleasure of visiting, is one of them.

Short-term holiday lets and Airbnb are blighting my city: we have nearly 2,000. That is undermining the regulated bed and breakfast and guesthouse sector. It is taking away houses from people in my city who are desperate to get homes, but it is causing antisocial behaviour and party houses on residential streets. Will the Minister ensure that the Government introduce a licensing system as opposed to a registration scheme, and also enable local authorities to create areas where there are no Airbnbs? Will the Minister meet me to discuss the crisis we are currently facing?

I am always delighted to meet the hon. Lady. She raises some important points, articulating precisely the need for the review, which we have brought in because we are very aware of some of the issues she raised. Some of the individual entities—Airbnb and so on—are already taking action on antisocial behaviour and the number of people who can be at parties. We expect, and require them actually, to continue to be responsible for and responsive to their customers and, indeed, local communities. We have not pre-empted the conclusions of the review, so I ask her to please contribute to that review.

The hon. Member for York Central (Rachael Maskell) is absolutely right to identify the issue that she has in York and in other parts of the country, but will my hon. Friend also bear in mind that these lets generate income for the area too, and many restaurants and other places would probably go out of business were it not for some of these lets?

My hon. Friend is making an important point, and that is why this is a call for evidence. It is about information; we have not come to conclusions or, indeed, decisions about potential legislation. There is a balance to be had here. Many people rent out a spare room, and in particular in these straitened times, it is very important that they can get additional revenue where they can.

With the announcement, just now, that the Prime Minister has resigned as the leader of the Conservative party, will his temporary occupation of No. 10 Downing Street over the summer qualify as a short-term holiday let?

I am sure the hon. Gentleman is enjoying himself, but that is nonsense. I think the important thing to make very clear, as people can see today, is that government continues.