Short-term letting agents in the capital are being urged by the Mayor of London to follow Airbnb’s lead by blocking hosts from renting out homes in the capital for more than 90 days.
Airbnb announced in December that was banning hosts in London from renting out entire homes for more than 90 days a year without official consent.
The move, which will become effective from spring 2017, follows concern that the accommodation website was exacerbating the housing crisis by allowing buy-to-let landlords to rent out homes long-term, thus reducing the volume of properties available in the private rented sector.
The main concern was that some property owners were using Airbnb as a way of providing long-term accommodation without having to abide by all the regulations, safety and insurance provisions covering the private rented sector.
Research conducted by the Residential Landlords Association last year found that 61% of entire homes and flats listed on Airbnb in London were advertised as being available for more than 90 days per year.
Sadiq Khan welcomed Airbnb’s positive and forward-thinking introduction of the 90-day letting block – and has written to six other online short-term letting agents operating in London, urging them to do the same. They include Veeve, One Fine Stay, Wimdu, Booking.com, HomeAway and Airsorted.
In his letter, Khan, said: “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.”