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Airbnb change of policy ahead of clampdown on complete houses

With the government considering short let landlords having to seek planning consent for the use of complete houses, AirBnb has announced a new emphasis on ‘room’ rentals.

The government has indicated that measures - which will mean that homeowners who want to list properties on Airbnb or other short let platforms will have to sign up to a register and may have to secure planning consent before letting out - will be contained in the Renters Reform Bill, to be revealed this week.

Now AirBnb says: “We’re making the most extensive set of improvements to Airbnb ever, starting with the introduction of Airbnb Rooms, an all-new take on the original Airbnb. We’re also launching over 50 new features and upgrades that address top feedback from our guests and Hosts across the end-to-end Airbnb experience.

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“…Guests have told us that they want to know more about who they’re staying with. Every Airbnb Room features a Host Passport, which helps guests get to know their Host before booking their stay. We’ve also created a Rooms category with over one million listings [worldwide] redesigned filters and added new privacy features.

“With Airbnb Rooms, we’re getting back to the idea that started it all – back to our founding ethos of sharing” says Brian Chesky, Airbnb co-founder and chief executive.

“Airbnb Rooms are often more affordable than hotels, and they’re the most authentic way to experience a city. This is the soul of Airbnb.”

A consultation document published last month by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities proposes the requirement of planning consent for an existing home to start to be used as a short let.

It will also consider another option - whether to give owners flexibility to let their home for up to a specified number of nights in a calendar year without the need for planning permission.

Subject to the outcome of the consultation, the planning changes would be introduced through secondary legislation later in the year and would apply in England only.

The government says it “wants to ensure the country reaps the benefits of diverse and sustainable accommodation and support the visitor economy, while also protecting local communities and ensuring the availability of affordable housing to rent or buy.”

The proposed planning changes would see a planning use class created for short term lets not used as a sole or main home, alongside new permitted development rights, which will mean planning permission is not needed in areas where local authorities choose not to use these planning controls.

Housing Secretary Michael Gove says: “In too many communities we have seen local people pushed out of cherished towns, cities and villages by huge numbers of short-term lets.

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    Stop doing this inept government’s bidding. They have failed to house people so they cripple those who do!!Pathetic and corrupt!

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