After recent moves by Berlin, Barcelona and Paris to crack down on people using Airbnb to make money from their empty houses, AirbnbEazy can reveal that similar steps have been discussed to change the laws in London. Current legislation allows homeowners to rent heir house out for up to 90 days a year although this law is so unenforceable that some landlords are starting to put their properties on Airbnb full-time instead of getting long-term tenants due to the extra money that can be earned.
The Business, Innovation, and Skills (BIS) committee is concerned that this is driving up rental prices in the capital and as a consequence it has written to the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan to suggest that greater restrictions should be placed on the home sharing platform. BIS Chairman Iain Wright said:
“Landlords who use companies like Airbnb to illegally let properties for more than 90 days are driving up prices and leaving tenants vulnerable.” “
“These landlords are hoteliers in all but name and gain an unfair competitive advantage by dodging regulations and taxes which hotels are required to pay.”
He then went on to say “Where those rules are unenforceable, then the law may have to change.”
It is likely that Sadiq Khan will look at other cities and how they have cracked down on the use of Airbnb as a full-time income. Barcelona requires hosts to register with the Tourism Registry of Catalonia before they can rent to tourists. In Berlin you can only rent out a room not a full property unless you apply for a permit with fines of up to €100k and in Paris they are conducting random raids on premises to check they’re not breaking the law.
Airbnb has insisted that the vast majority of its hosts are law-abiding citizens using the platform to make extra money while away from home and not full-time landlords abusing the system. An Airbnb spokesman revealed that the typical London host earns an extra £3,500 by sharing their home for 50 nights a year and suggested that London hosts generated over £1.3 billion of economic activity in the capital last year.
From our standpoint the vast majority of people we work with are simply using Airbnb for when they are out of the country travelling or on business and very few of our customers are renting out their property full-time. Hopefully the London Mayor appreciates the value of Airbnb in London and the benefit it brings to London homeowners and tourists alike as well as the benefits it brings to boroughs who may not benefit from tourism in the way that boroughs like Westminster & Kensington do.
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