A report prepared by housing experts in Manchester shows a massive surge in the number of Airbnbs in the city - and how that directly reduces the mainstream rentals stock.
The report, from the Greater Manchester Tenants Union and Greater Manchester Housing Action, found a three-fold increase in the number of listings, and an increase in the number of entire properties listed on Airbnb in Manchester by a factor of four, from 2016 to 2020.
In that time an average of 263 entire properties were being added each year.
“This level of growth will cause a significant loss of housing stock that could shut out 9,410 residents over a decade (using the Greater Manchester average household size of 2.33)” says the report.
Short term rentals in the city have been found to have been increasingly professionalised: at least 54.9 per cent of all Manchester Airbnb listings are by landlords with more than one property.
The city also has a well-developed short lets management company industry.
The authors of the report want more communication between planning authorities and local residents whose communities have been heavily impacted by short lets, bans on short lets in new residential developments,to reduce further loss of social and affordable housing in particular, and to have more transparency over discussions between short lets firms and the local authority and utility services.
The authors also demand the setting up of “a database of short term lettings and encouraging Manchester residents to feed in local intelligence.”
They say that Airbnb’s own recommendations - an annual cap on the number of days that a property can be short-let, and a voluntary code of conduct - are hard to police and largely ineffective.
“Current attempts by cities across the world to regulate and negotiate with Airbnb and its imitators are met with extensive legal obfuscation, refusal to provide useful data and non-co-operation in removing illegal listings” says the report.
Instead, the people behind the study want the local authorities in Manchester to establish a mandatory registration system requiring hosts to apply for a council permit or license for entire-home listings, plus binding accountability rules such that platforms can only accept advertisements and transactions from registered hosts.