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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Short lets like Airbnb "out of control" and activists want crackdown

Generation Rent - an outspoken organisation sharply critical of lettings agents and many aspects of the private rental sector - is calling for councils across the UK to crackdown on Airbnb and other short let platforms.

It has launched an online petition calling for all such firms and platforms, which it describes as “holiday let companies”, to share data with local authorities who can instead prioritise properties for those in longer-term housing need.

The petition, which you can see on the 38degrees website, claims that the short lets sector in London is to all intents and purposes unregulated because landlords and ‘hosts’ can simply switch from one short-lets platform to another. 

This sector is poorly policed both in the capital and beyond, says the group, because councils are cash-strapped.

The petition says:

“The Government to enforce mandatory data sharing by all holiday let companies so that councils throughout the country can crack down on short term lets and prioritise homes not hotels

“Why is this important? It's been revealed that 1 in 50 homes in London are now holiday lets, meaning families and those working in the capital are being forced out of their homes and facing higher rents.

“Right now, if a home in London is rented out on the holiday let market for more than 90 days in the course of a year then the landlord is required to apply for planning permission to let it out to tourists.

“However, because there are loads of holiday let companies out there, landlords can bounce from Airbnb to HomeStay to Hostmaker and to FlipKey without regulation. Cash-strapped local councils don't have the staff or the data to track down landlords that are breaking the law.

“The rise of holiday lets is growing throughout England, and councils outside London have even fewer powers to do anything about it.

“The massive rise in companies like Airbnb and HomeStay means more evictions for long term tenants, less secure private rented housing available for Londoners and rents are being pushed up.”

 

 

Poll: Is it time for strict regulation of short lets?

PLACE YOUR VOTE BELOW

  • icon

    Stop taxing decent landlords out of business this is a direct result of s24

  • James B

    Maybe the likes of generation rant and shelter need to stop driving landlords out

  • icon
    • S S
    • 06 February 2020 10:03 AM

    The consequences of one action always has the potential to lead to "unintended" results. Whilst regulation is important and all GOOD LA and LL desire to provide good housing with long term tenants - what LL wants constant void periods and ever changing tenants?, the stampede to drive out "bad" LL and LA is simply resulting in the good ones leaving. Are bad LL selling up? probably not they just continue to operate under the radar with ineffectual policing of existing legalisation. Result LOWER number of good decent properties available and LL selling up to move into commercial rental if they want to remain in the industry or cashing in if not. Generation Rent/Rant and Shelter need to work with Landlords for solutions because the Government certainly abdicated that responsibility.

  • icon

    This is not fair on the landlord and yet call for more regulation on every parallel of the property market is foolish and will have long term impact on private landlords confidence. Currently there seems to be available properties on the market, yes maybe we can do with rents being a bit better but i think we should be pushing for living wage more than regulating holiday let market which has benefited the majority more than impacted the few.

  • icon
    • 06 February 2020 19:00 PM

    Unfortunately there is still too much rental property available.
    Rents won't really increase until supply is less than demand.
    Lots more LL need to sell up for that situation to occur.
    I'll be doing my best to assist rent increases as I sell up gradually leaving 16 tenants homeless.

    I suggest that Govt will be coming for holiday lets next.
    There is much resentment of 2nd homeowners and holiday lets.
    Electorally Govt won't lose any votes hitting these property owners.

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