Short-lets explosion: ‘Airbnb time limits just won’t work’

The explosion in the short-lets sector continues apace with one third of London councils telling the BBC that Airbnb’s 90-day time maximum for hosts letting out their properties simply will not work.

Airbnb reminded its hosts at the end of 2016 that letting properties for more than 90 days was illegal, with additional warnings appearing to individual Airbnb hosts online.

But a survey by the BBC reveals that nearly a third of all borough councils say this won’t help stem the explosion in short lets on Airbnb and similar online platforms.

Airbnb has recently fought back against critics says that a recent report found that “entire homes” booked on the site at least once a year made up less than one per cent of total private housing stock in London in 2015, the most recent data available.

However, the same study showed 11 per cent of Airbnb’s entire home rentals were let for more than six months of the year – so well over the 90-day limit after which, in theory, the host should seek planning consent.

Critics say landlords – sometimes with the support of letting agents – are removing properties from the long-term private rental market and instead advertising for more profitable short-let tenants. This means some previous long-term tenants put pressure for accommodation on local councils.

The BBC says seven London boroughs – Camden, Hammersmith, Haringey, Islington, Lewisham, Waltham Forest, Westminster – have now called for tougher legislation to prevent illegal lettings via short let platforms.

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Written by: Houseladder