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Airbnb claims no link between short lets and housing crisis

Airbnb’s general manager is claiming that there is no fact-based evidence to link the proliferation of short lets across the UK with any apparent housing shortage.

Amanda Cupples, general manager of Airbnb Northern Europe, has told members of the House of Lords that she would welcome a short lets host registration scheme and the collection of more data to allow informed decisions by the short lets sector and policy makers.

But for the moment she insists: “There is no evidence base that has drawn any link whatsoever between short term accommodation and housing scarcity.”


In an appearance before the Built Environment Committee of the House of Lords, which is holding a special investigation into short lets, Cupples insisted that short lets were a vital part of broader economic recovery from Covid, allowing those living outside cities and away from their offices to have one or two nights accommodation per week near their workplace.

In addition, she repeated previous Airbnb claims that short lets contributed some £5 billion to the UK economy, most of it being spent in local economies by hosts “who are real people.”

She told Peers that eight out of 10 Airbnb hosts had only one property listing - which may be their principal home or their second or buy to let property - and that on average hosts let for three nights per month, securing around £6,000 per year in total from rent.

Cupples also played the cost of living card, saying that many of those hosts used the £6,000 not for ‘extras’ but to make ends meet in a time of high inflation.


When questioned by Lord Best - the peer who has decades of experience in the rental sector and who led the working party into the Regulation of Property Agents - Cupples criticised the kind of survey undertaken by Tory MP Selaine Saxby.

She represents a west country constituency and published a survey claiming that 360 properties in her area were available to let on Airbnb while there was only one long term property available for rental on Rightmove.

Cupples claimed such a survey was “inherently flawed” because while the property for long term let was likely to be a whole apartment or house, those on Airbnb could be barns, annexes, individual rooms, or even yurts.

She said it was “a bit dangerous to cherry pick” that way.

Also addressing the committee was Merilee Karr, the chair of the UK Short Term Accommodation Association, and Fiona MacConnacher, the public affairs manager of Booking.com.

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    Who can blame landlords for taking the airbnb route, I would if I had the right properties in the right areas

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    If holiday lets and long term lets both had the same tax treatment how many landlords would bother with the hassle of holiday lets?

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    I would go down the Airbnb route if my properties were in the right area, but its stretching credibility saying there is no link …. If it looks like a 🦆 duck, quack’s like a 🦆 duck, it’s a duck 😃. I can see legislation coming in on this and holiday let’s in the near future.


    The SNP are already threatening legislation since the anti PRS legislation they introduced in Scotland in December 2017 drove many private landlords away from long term rentals over which they no longer had full control.

    Instead of recognising that disastrous legislation should be repealed, politicians prefer to introduce even more legislation!

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    Air bnb is a slicker marketing company for b&bs'.
    Nearly 900k legal immigrants turned up last year and the NHS is recruiting from aboard, and won't train up the numbers required, so Brits are getting dead end degrees. That's the problem.


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