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Short Term Lets: ACORN Policy Platform

Adopted by the Executive Committee on the 31st January 2022

The rise in short term holiday lettings such as AirBnB is having a devastating effect on some of the communities our members live in. ACORN members have seen short term holiday lets replace long term rental accommodation, meaning rents are going up and conditions are going down. In some areas of Wales, the rise in short term lets is breaking up communities where the Welsh language is spoken and threatening its endurance.  In some areas such as Cornwall and West Wales, the lack of long term residents has led to businesses closing down, schools struggling to get funding and NHS staffing crises. Members have reported feelings of isolation with neighbours being forced to move away. Other members have reported that living next door to holiday lets has seriously impacted their quality of life.

The Executive Committee debated these issues and adopted this 12 point policy platform, a call to decision makers to act to halt and reverse the destructive effects short term lets are having on our communities and the housing sector.

  1. ACORN supports mandatory registration of all entire home holiday lets and owners onto a national database with the ability for local councils to submit reports.
  2. ACORN supports mandatory licencing for short term lets by local councils.
  3. ACORN supports the issuing of licences to be dependent upon owners producing health and safety certificates to ensure compliance (equivalent to those required for registered holiday lets)
  4. ACORN supports giving councils the ability to designate a minimum percentage of housing to be reserved for long term residents/to introduce a cap on the number of holiday lets. This level should be decided locally and reviewed periodically.
  5. ACORN supports allowing local councils to refuse planning permission and licences for short term lets where they identify a potential threat to public services, cultural heritage, language and businesses.
  6. ACORN supports giving local councils the power to rescind a licence if a short term let is a nuisance for residents.
  7. ACORN supports all holiday lets paying a higher rate of council tax 
  8. ACORN supports excluding owners from registering a short term holiday let as a small business.
  9. ACORN supports a cap on the number of properties an individual/business can let out on a short term basis.
  10. ACORN supports giving local residents the opportunity to comment on planning applications to change the use of a dwelling into a short term let.
  11. ACORN supports a ban on converting ex council/housing association properties into holiday accommodation.
  12. ACORN recognises that the above positions rely on proper funding being made available to councils to allow them to enforce any new rules.