Enforcement, Violations and Sanctions
230. The consultation paper noted that the enforcement of short-term lets could be done through councils operating a registration or licensing scheme having new powers; and data sharing across local government and national government and relevant agencies. Council officials would have certain powers such as a capacity to visit any accommodation that was registered or licenced for short-term lets, or require a host, platform or hosting intermediary to provide relevant information or documentation. There would be various penalties that could be applied for a number of issues such as operating without a licence or registration. Sanctions could include fines and / or revocation of licence. Question 22 asked,
Q22: 'Do you have any comments on who should be subject to enforcement and sanction?'
231. A total of 563 respondents commented at this question. The following table provides a breakdown of those who chose to respond.
Table 26: Q22
|Host with 1 property||103|
|Host with 2+ properties||53|
|Hotel / B&B owner||10|
|Other (non short-term let) landlord||10|
232. A small minority of respondents noted their agreement with suggestions in the consultation paper; and some outlined a number of suggestions as to who should be subject to enforcement and sanctions. These included:
- Owners (cited by a small minority; with highest support coming from affected guests, community organisations and local authorities; there was very little support from hosts with multiple properties).
- Hosts (cited by a few respondents; with highest support from affected residents and local authorities).
- Everyone associated with secondary letting of properties (cited by a few respondents; highest support from affected residents and host intermediaries, local authorities and other businesses).
- Platforms (mentioned by a small minority of respondents); with higher support from affected residents, host intermediaries and other businesses. A small number of respondents suggested that platforms should be required to provide information to local authorities, or check the suitability of properties or co-operate with the enforcement of appropriate regulations.
- Agents / hosting intermediaries / management companies (cited by a few respondents).
- Tenants / guests (cited by a few respondents).
- Commercial operators / individuals with multiple properties (cited by a very small number of respondents).
233. A small number of respondents also noted their agreement with the imposition of penalties and sanctions, with some reference to the need for fines or for revocation of licences.
234. Small numbers of respondents also reiterated points made to earlier questions, which included:
- The need for licensing or registration.
- The need for local authorities to have discretion so that they can add conditions.
- That local authorities would need resources to deal with enforcement.
- A need for fast and proactive enforcement, with some comments that the current regulations for the PRS are not enforced effectively or quickly enough.
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