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Red Tape for agents with short lets as Airbnb backs registration

Airbnb has come out in favour of a short lets registration scheme across the UK - similar to the one promised by the government.

Theo Thomas, head of government relations for Airbnb in northern Europe, claims his organisation has “led the way” in championing what he calls “progressive rules for short-term lets”.

Writing on the Conservative Home website, which is aimed at government supporters, Thomas says: “We are acutely aware of the stress and pressures that many households are facing right now. As people look for new ways to boost their income, more than a third of hosts across the UK report that they host to afford the rising cost of living.


“Our platform enables anyone with a spare room or who might be away from home for a few weeks to share their space. The typical UK host on Airbnb makes just over £6,000 from renting out their property. This is extra income that is needed now more than ever.”

He says short-term lets provide additional and affordable choice for families booking holidays in the UK. 

“By making areas with limited traditional accommodation options more accessible, guests are able to venture further off the beaten track. These communities in turn benefit from visitors spending money in the bars, restaurants, and shops they might otherwise have missed.

“The introduction of our ‘categories’ and ‘flexible search’ features also help guests discover unique properties outside of the most touristic areas. Early insights suggest that this update is driving more sustainable and dispersed travel patterns in countries across Europe.”

Last month it was revealed that the government had been meeting with the short lets trade body, the Short Term Accommodation Association, to discuss the concept of a national registration scheme for hosts. 

Thomas continues on Conservative Home: “While the return of large-scale events and inbound travel has been vital for businesses and communities that rely on tourism, we recognise that it has exposed challenges in certain communities. This is why we welcome the government’s decision to introduce a short-term lets register.

“Building a central, nationwide picture of short-term lets will go a long way towards solving more local issues – including mapping tourism infrastructure or ensuring health & safety standards – while providing policymakers and authorities with crucial insight.

“We look forward to working together with policymakers to establish clear and proportionate rules on short-term lets. Rules that will preserve the benefits of hosting for everyday British families, give communities more control, and help local businesses.”


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