The Road to Holiday Rental Registration
The UK’s holiday rental market has experienced significant growth in recent years, largely due to the popularity of platforms such as Airbnb. With this growth, there has been increased scrutiny of the sector by local authorities and regulators, leading to changes in legislation aimed at better regulating the industry and protecting local communities.
One of the most significant changes in UK legislation has been the introduction of mandatory holiday rental registration schemes. In some areas, such as Edinburgh, property owners are now required to register their property with the local council and pay a fee in order to rent it out for short-term stays. This helps to ensure that properties meet safety standards and helps local authorities to track and regulate the industry.
On January 31, 2023, Rishi Sunak announced the UK government’s commitment to introducing a nationwide short-term rental registration scheme. This move is aimed at better regulating the country’s booming short-term rental market, which has experienced significant growth in recent years, largely due to the popularity of platforms like Airbnb.
Under the proposed registration scheme, all hosts will be required to register their property with a designated body and pay a fee in order to rent it out for short-term stays. This will help to ensure that properties meet safety standards and help local authorities to track and regulate the industry. The scheme is also expected to bring in additional revenue for the government, which can be used to support local communities and tackle the negative impacts of tourism.
The announcement by Sunak was widely welcomed by industry experts and local authorities, who have long called for better regulation of the short-term rental market. The scheme is seen as a crucial step in improving the reputation of the industry and protecting local communities, by cracking down on illegal short-term rentals and ensuring that properties are safe for guests.
It is important to note that the details of the proposed registration scheme, including the fees and the specific requirements for hosts, have not yet been confirmed. The government is expected to consult with industry experts and local authorities over the coming months to finalize the details of the scheme. However, companies operating in the short term rental space should start planning now.
What Will These Changes Mean For Your Business?
There are many differing operating models in short term rentals in the UK. Firstly, there are owner operators (or Airbnb hosts), secondly, full service property management companies and thirdly, booking agents, (companies who optimise the nightly rate but do not manage the property). The new legislation will affect all operating models and below we explore the impact and how you should get your business ready for the changes.
The onus of ensuring that the property adheres to these regulations will initially fall to the owner, or if they are using a full service property manager then this will likely be outsourced to them. However, the ongoing annual checks will create huge issues differing management contracts will put the liability on different parties. In addition, in order to get the correct verification it will require co-ordination with third party professional companies such as gas engineers.
The largest change will be for booking agents or OTAs. Currently an owner or property manager can list a property but there are no checks carried out by the booking agent as they assume the owner or property manager is uploading a compliant property. However, it is likely that booking agencies or OTAs will be responsible for ensuring they are selling compliant properties so a whole new burden of admin is likely to fall to the booking agency to show due diligence in doing everything they can to ensure the property is up to date.
Holiday Rental Registration: Requirements
Public Liability Insurance
EICR Certificate for Appliances
Fire Alarm Checks
Fire Extinguisher Checked
Fire Risk Assessment
Gas Safety Certificate
Managing Annual Check List of Compliance
The burden of ensuring compliance will be challenging as if a property manager is working with 250 properties, chasing up these owners for the annual checks will create a huge administration headache as the annual renewals will be on differing dates for each property. This compliance admin will likely form bespoke job roles within the short term rental business but in order to track all the tasks and managing the certification will require software to help ease the burden.
Automated Solution for Compliance
How PropertyCare.com can ensure holiday rental registration compliance:
- Automate the Generation of Compliance Tasks
- Automate Assignment of Compliance Tasks
- Track Progress of Compliance Tasks
- Securely Store All Certification
- Aggregate all Costs Associated with Compliance
- Export Property Owner Reports