Airbnb takes action against ‘professional London landlords’

26 March 2017

It’s a sign of how online property services impact the market: Airbnb short stay deals in London have become so popular that almost 5,000 homes have been let out for more than 90 days, many of them breaking the law.

It is illegal to let out your whole property for more than 90 days a year without planning permission. A report published by Airbnb found that “It is likely there are many cases where planning permission for a change of use has not been obtained,” and that the move towards landlords removing their properties from the traditional rented sector poses “potential future risks to housing supply in London.”

From spring 2017 Airbnb will ban London hosts from renting out entire homes for more than 90 days, unless they have official consent.

“The problem was that a website that was about people making a little money letting out rooms was being abused by professional landlords turning their properties into hotels by the back door,” said London Assembly politician Tom Copley.

In total there are more than 40,000 London properties advertised on Airbnb, with new listings growing at a rate of 75 per cent each year.

Similar limitations on home rentals apply in other major international cities, including Berlin and San Francisco, the home of Airbnb, where hosts can be fined up to US$1,000 per day for breaking the regulations.