Airbnb has announced that from next spring it will ban hosts in London from renting out entire homes for more than 90 days a year without official consent.
This is following concerns that some landlords were acting illegally and turning badly needed housing into unofficial hotels.
One of the leading campaigners is the Residential Landlords Association (RLA) who carried out their own research. This found that 61% of entire homes and apartments listed on Airbnb in London were advertised as being available for more than 90 days per year.
According to The Guardian newspaper, Airbnb itself admitted that 4,938 (23%) of its “entire home” London listings were let out for more than 3 months, despite a law requiring anyone doing so to apply for planning permission.
Commenting on the changes, the RLA said on their website that a major concern was that some property owners are using holiday letting sites in order to provide long term accommodation - whilst avoiding the associated regulations, safety and insurance provisions covering the private rented sector.
Their news release said: “Planning permission is required for holiday lets in London for over 90 days in any given year to prevent property owners from getting around regulations governing the long term renting of property to tenants”.
A spokesman from the RLA added: “The decision by Airbnb to better police its website is welcome news which will provide greater protection for those using the site and will not allow property owners to try to do long term renting on the cheap.”