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Short lets sector collapses with 70 per cent of rentals cancelled

Airbnb and similar platforms have seen a collapse of business since the start of the Coronavirus crisis with some 70 per cent of bookings cancelled according to a trade body.

The Short Term Accommodation Association has surveyed corporate members and since March 13 most companies have seen more than 70 per cent of their reservations cancelled, with some losing more than 90 per cent

The association says most companies have lost more than 70 per cent of their income and without government support, all companies say they will have to consider making some employees redundant.


“These findings are certainly not surprising but show that the short-term rental sector, that makes a massive contribution to the UK economy each year, is under severe threat” claims Merilee Karr, chair of the STAA.

“For those short-letting their home, the loss of both present and future income could be devastating. Thousands of people use the sharing economy to help pay their mortgage; for some, it is their primary source of income. Countless small entrepreneurs face going out of business, removing money from local economies both now, and in the future, when they will not be around to service demand once the virus has abated” she adds.

The STAA is lobbying the government and wants:

- amended domestic legislation to allow the provision of refunds and price reductions as vouchers and credit notes instead of cash;

- temporary solutions to address cash drainage arising from the chargeback mechanism under credit card schemes;

- alternations to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to keep people in this sector working through the crisis;

- and guidance to ensure that company directors are not obliged to personally guarantee loans.

  • Mark Wilson

    Who are the 30% of guests who are still arriving? An association with very high and totally unrealistic expectation of Government. Wish you the best of luck but don't hold your breath!

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    For those shortlets that operated above board, paid their taxes, filed their returns etc then the support from government is there in way of grants etc. Those that chose to avoid declaring their income are the only ones who will truly suffer

  • Barry X

    Theoretically - if people followed government guidelines etc. I'd expect short lets to fall by 95% - 100% right now!

  • Tom Pryor

    I have over 20 SA's and I would go with 100% of bookings cancelled.

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    • 05 April 2020 12:44 PM

    By implication there can be no Govt assistance for short-let LL as most are operating fraudulently.

    There are very few freeholders that permit short-term letting of flats in their blocks.
    Very few LL have the appropriate mortgage or CTL for short-term lettings.
    There are in fact very few lettings that are set up in compliance with all relevant conditions of

    If LL aren't complying they can hardly expect Govt assistance as it would be Govt checking they are compliant in all aspects of what they do BEFORE any assistance may be provided.


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