Airbnb’s decision to enforce the London-specific legislation which limits hosts to letting their properties for no more than 90 nights a year may cost it $US400m, equivalent to £325m.
Over 45 per cent of Airbnb nights booked in London would be threatened by the 90-day cap, according to data from accommodation search engine AllTheRooms and provided to the online newspaper The Independent.
Under the proposals, hosts renting out entire properties will be notified as they approach the limit and given details of where to seek an extension. The move begins this spring and brings the home-sharing website into line with UK law. "We want to be good partners to London... and ensure home-sharing grows responsibly and sustainably" says a statement from Airbnb.
AllTheRooms suggests some bookings would shift to different properties on Airbnb but many would look elsewhere - as many as one third of Airbnb’s bookings for the UK capital could be lost, the analysis claims.
The search engine predicts that London Airbnb reservations will nonetheless leap from $US 600m last year to some $812m in 2017. Without the rule change it predicted a jump to $1.24 billion.