ALMOST a quarter of landlords have considered letting out their properties on a short let Airbnb-style basis – but only three per cent have actually done so.

Research by the National Landlords Association (NLA), based on a relatively small sample of 494 respondents in the final quarter of last year, suggested that 76 per cent of landlords have not considered short lets.

The NLA said short-term lets range in length from one night up to around six months, and have increased in popularity enormously in recent years following the success of companies such as Airbnb and HomeAway.

However, landlords who go down the short lets route can find themselves in breach of mortgage terms and can invalidate their existing insurance policy.

“We had expected to see a slight increase in the number of landlords letting furnished holiday properties after changes to taxation were introduced in April last year,” said Richard Lambert, chief executive of the NLA.

“While this has not been the case for most of the UK, it is worth noting that 20 per cent of landlords in Scotland do offer short-term lets.

“Holiday lets are treated differently to other property portfolios in tax and regulatory terms. The decision to switch may be a ‘no-brainer’ for landlords in areas where there is strong demand from temporary visitors.

But he added that a shift of properties in one area to shorter-term letting can have a significant effect on the local rental market, reducing available properties and pushing up rents.