Concerns have been raised in the House of Lords over landlords who choose not to let properties to long-term tenants, but instead opt for less controlled short-term lets via Airbnb.
The issue was raised by Baroness Gardner of Parkes, who is herself a long-time landlord and has let properties in the capital for decades. Gardner raised the issue as part of the Renters’ Rights Bill.
This measure concerns lets of six months or longer. However, Baroness Gardner warns that the Bill’s bid to exert greater control and costs on landlords and lettings could drive more into the Airbnb sector.
Baroness Gardner told peers: ‘People are overlooking the situation where, particularly in London, landlords are giving up ordinary residential lettings. There is quite a desperate shortage of lettings for ordinary people wishing to rent, because landlords can make so much more money out of Airbnb, which is totally uncontrolled. I opposed the practice when it came up last year during passage of the Deregulation Act, but no one else did.’
Concerns raised over Airbnb short lets
‘Now, sure enough, Berlin is bringing in controls. New York, Vancouver—all these places—are finding themselves in the same position. The Mayor of London has acknowledged the problem. It is only capital cities that have ever had that limitation on short lets. Whether it is in the tenancy agreement or not, people are totally ignoring that and simply letting them, because they can earn as much in four months as an ordinary landlord would in the whole year’ she continued.