Airbnb’s new protocol seeking to stop London hosts short-letting their properties for more than 90 days a year without formal consent, should be extended to at least four other major UK cities.
That’s the view of the Association of Independent Inventory Clerks which says the limit - being introduced by the home-sharing platform from April next year - should also operate in Bristol, Liverpool, Manchester and Newcastle.
Airbnb is introducing the system in the capital following criticism that many of its hosts let for longer than 90 days, sometimes taking hitherto long-term let property off the market and reserving it only for short-let tenants to secure higher rental income.
The Residential Landlords Association claimed earlier this year that over 60 per cent of London properties listed on Airbnb were advertised as being available for more than 90 days per year, despite this contravening planning laws and the platform’s own policies.
Airbnb hit back with a statement claiming that the RLA’s research was ‘misleading’ as it deliberately confused availability with nights booked, but from April it is to notify hosts of their statutory responsibilities as their lettings approach 90 days within a 12 month period.
The AIIC says this should be extended to other cities, arguing that Airbnb tenants and landlords leave themselves open to damage or financial implications due to the minimal checks and paperwork needed to let a property via short-let websites.
The association says the absence of mandatory deposit protection and the unlikelihood of inventories being compiled are two of the biggest issues.
"Short term lets are supposed to be short term for a reason and landlords who are not adhering to the rules could be putting the future of their investment at risk" says Patricia Barber, chair of the AIIC.