Over recent months short letting of residential premises has received a lot of media coverage in the national and legal press. I have previously written about the perils of short letting in London which you can read here.
The use of short term letting sites has been criticised for contributing to London’s housing crisis, with some landlords using short lets as a quick money making scheme and removing properties from the Capital’s housing stock. There has been growing pressure from the Mayor of London, MPs and government ministers for short term letting sites to introduce restrictions on the amount of nights which a property can be let.
Airbnb, the world’s leading short-letting site, has today announced that it will be imposing restrictions on “hosts” from letting entire homes in the Capital for more than 90 days a year. The Guardian has reported that Airbnb have sent letters to hosts today notifying them of the changes. Of course, there is a 90 day restriction for short term lets in the Capital, which was relaxed by the Deregulation Act 2015; any breach of the aggregate figure would be a breach of planning consent. However, this was seldom enforced by local authorities due to a lack of resources and evidence.
Airbnb will introduce the new limit from 2017 and will be imposed unless the host confirms that they have obtained planning permission to exceed the limit. These restrictions will only apply to entire home listings and only to properties within London.
It is yet to be seen whether other short-letting platforms will follow suit.