Following on from Airbnb’s announcement in December that it was banning hosts in London from renting out entire homes for more than 90 days a year without official consent, the Mayor of London has written to six other online short-term letting agents operating in the area, urging them to do the same.
Airbnb’s decision – which comes in to play in the Spring – was made after major concerns over some property owners using holiday letting sites in order to provide long term accommodation.
There were worries that the Airbnb website was intensifying the housing crisis by allowing buy-to-let landlords to rent out properties long-term, reducing the volume available in the private rented sector as well as avoiding the associated regulations, safety and insurance provisions covering the sector.
Sadiq Khan said he welcomed Airbnb’s positive and forward-thinking introduction of the 90-day letting block and wrote: “While Airbnb accounts for a substantial share of the short-term lettings market in London, there are many other operators, such as yours, who occupy the same space. I am keen to see a cross-industry response to this issue, to help local authorities enforce the law.
“I therefore strongly encourage your company to follow Airbnb's lead, by ensuring that customers of yours who want to let properties in London on a short-term basis for more than the 90-day annual cumulative limit are restricted from doing so through your website, unless they can prove that they have the relevant planning permission.”