Landlords ‘turning to Airbnb’ in Cardiff due to tax hikes

New research from the Residential Landlords Association has shown a shift from private lettings to Airbnbs.

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More landlords in Cardiff are letting out their properties as short-term holiday lets, making them no longer available for long term renting following UK Government tax changes.

The Residential Landlords Association’s (RLA) research facility, PEARL, has found that the number of Airbnb listings have increased by a massive 259% in Cardiff alone in comparison to last year.

This suggests almost one in five homes to rent in Cardiff are now being offered through holiday websites such as Airbnb.

The research follows on from the RLA Wales conference back in November, which discussed the issue of a growing Airbnb market.

Previous research from RLA PEARL has found of those landlords now offering short-term lets, over one in three were doing so because of tax increases on landlords.

This includes a reduction in tax relief available on mortgage interest and private landlords being taxed on their income rather than their profit, unlike any other business.

These changes do not apply to those renting properties as short term lets.

One landlord who has made the move to holiday lets commented: “I didn’t want to do this, but the tax changes have forced me down this route. Selling is not an option due to CGT, and this iniquitous tax which is effectively retrospective is unjust in that my buy to lets are a business, just like any other. There will be less properties available to rent as a result of this tax.”

The RLA is calling on the UK Government to scrap the changes to mortgage interest relief which are hitting the majority of landlords providing good housing and who Wales needs to encourage to invest in more homes to rent.

RLA vice-chair and director for Wales, Douglas Haig, said: “With the tax changes incentivising the use of homes as short-term holiday lets it is tenants who will suffer as fewer properties are available for them rent for the long-term.

“The government wants longer term security for tenants, especially families, and landlords support this, but they need to change their tax policy to achieve it.”

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