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We Need Public Cash - short lets sector appeals directly to Sunak

The fledgling trade association representing short lets companies wants public cash and other forms of aid to help the sector through winter.

Merilee Karr, chair of the UK Short Term Accommodation Association, has written to Chancellor Rishi Sunak requesting “additional government support” because of the impact of travel and hospitality restrictions on short lets.

Karr says: “We are pleased the government will expand the Job Support Scheme to cover businesses forced to close due to government restrictions. It’s also critical the Chancellor recognises that many visitor accommodation businesses will be negatively affected if other sectors of the hospitality industry, such as pubs and restaurants, are forced to close to comply with government restrictions and should, therefore, be included amongst those companies that can access the scheme.” 


She goes on to say: “The closure of large swathes of the hospitality sector in specific geographic locations will cause a massive downturn in demand for visitor accommodation, which will seriously reduce demand for many businesses.”

The STAA’s letter explains that if visitor accommodation businesses are not forced to close they cannot benefit from the Job Support Scheme or other reliefs.  

She emphasises that closing some parts of the hospitality sector, but not others, destroys demand for visitor accommodation without making it eligible for the level of cash funding it would receive if it closed completely.

Karr claims most businesses in the sector have already retrenched as far as they can, keeping on essential staff so they can resume trading when demand returns. 

The association calculates short lets were set to add £25 billion to the UK economy prior to the pandemic. The STAA argues that the government has a duty to protect this sector.

“If our industry has support through this winter, it will be in a good position to bounce back when the demand picks up again. Without any additional government support, we are concerned the industry will not be able to deliver on its potential” she concludes.

Poll: Should the short lets sector get a public hand out?


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    No, just no!

  • icon

    No problems with the idea, however as
    Many haven’t paid anything towards tax they should have to produce 3 years worth of books.

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    • 19 October 2020 08:59 AM

    Legitimate short-term operations like hotels and B & B should but not all those fraudulent AirBnB operators.

  • Mark Wilson

    Another group of dreamers. This site attracts them!

    • 19 October 2020 09:12 AM

    You really are an idiot aren't you!?
    No dreamers on this site apart from you..
    We LL are realistic.

    We know that generally we are on a hiding to nothing but we do hope for better responses.

    Mark Wilson

    'Better responses' = idiotic dreams.

    And on realistic, some is but many aint.

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    • 19 October 2020 10:02 AM

    We hope for better responses but certainly don't expect them.
    We should receive better responses but of course we fully understand that these are highly unlikely to occur.

    We of course endeavour to plan for the worst.

    Even though many of us are unable to do as much as we'd like.

    I consider those who are LL who post on here are entirely understanding of the position they are in.
    Of course none of likes it but we are where we are.

    Nothing wrong in stating what we'd like no matter how unrealistic we know such desires are.

    It is all just talk.
    We know the actual reality of we are stuffed!!

    Many of us will jump ship before it sinks and many will go down with the ship all guns blazing.

    Either way is still a hopeless position.

    Wonder how many LL will be pragmatic and sell up!?

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    I have had personal experience of LL who go into the AirBNB market because their property(s) do not score highly enough to comply with MEES. The loophole, of course, is if you rent out a 'holiday home' for less than four months of a calendar year (doesn't have to be consecutive, just four months total within Jan-Dec) then the dwelling is EPC exempt.

    It's possible the same LL who didn't want to spend out to improve the energy efficiency of their dwellings() also rent for more than four months, but the tax man doesn't know about it......

    The solution to the 'we want Government money' from the short -term lobby is to go into the AST market until the pandemic passes. What a shame it has been made so unattractive that they are avoiding it as diligently as most of us are avoiding Covid 19.

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    • 19 October 2020 11:00 AM

    LL have been forced into fraudulent letting activity by S21 and MEES.

    I don't blame them.

    I would have done the same if subject to the same imperatives.

    The MEES situation has the potential to be devastating for many LL and tenants.

    The S21 problem is minor in comparison.
    With AirBnB divulging info to HMRC it won't be too long before HMRC confirms with lenders; freeholders and insurers that they are OK with the LL short-term letting!

    Few will be.

    Many lenders will be calling loans in.


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