Second homes and Airbnb face new restrictions in Wales in a bid to tackle soaring housing costs

Licenses will be required for Holiday rents and people who own more than one home face steep tax increases, the Welsh government has said.

A new compulsory licensing regime for short-term vacation rentals advertised on platforms such as Airbnb is planned as part of a package of measures set out in a joint announcement by the country’s prime minister. Mark Drakeford, of Labour, and Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price.

Councils will be able to require landlords to apply for planning permission to change accommodation from a ‘main residence’ to a ‘second home’ or ‘short-term holiday accommodation’ as part of the changes.

Local authorities will also be able to request an increase in land transaction tax rates to second homes and vacation rentals.

Mr Drakeford said: “Today we are setting out the next steps in a radical program to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to afford to live in their local community, whether buying or renting. a house.

“We have a shared ambition for Wales to be a nation of thriving communities – a country where people don’t have to leave to find good, rewarding work and a country people want to come and visit and experience.

“Tourism is vital to our economy, but having too many vacation properties and second homes, which are empty for much of the year, does not make local communities healthy and excludes people from the local market. housing.

“There is no simple, one-size-fits-all solution to these problems. Any action we take must be right. We don’t want to create unintended consequences, which could destabilize the broader housing market or make it harder for people to rent or buy.

Safer Lodging

Mr Price, whose party has a co-operation agreement with the Welsh Government, said: “We are committed to using a range of planning, tax and property levers to tackle the problem of second and unaffordable homes – and to do it urgently.

“The set of targeted measures that have been developed as a result of the constructive cooperation between Plaid Cymru and the government in this area will together begin to address the injustices in our housing system and make a real difference for people and communities across our nation.

‘The goal is to give everyone’an hawl i fyw adra“- the ability to live and work in the communities in which they grew up.”

But Welsh Tories have accused the Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru of taking the first steps towards a “tourist tax”.

Tom Giffard, Shadow Minister for Culture, Tourism and Sport, said: ‘To me this looks like the precursor to a tourism tax which will destroy the tourism sector in Wales and cost a lot of jobs.

“Ministers must ensure this scheme does not punish the people who work hard to keep our tourism businesses thriving, especially after the damage from pandemic restrictions.”

Additional reporting by Press Association

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