New research from the Residential Landlords Association (RLA) raises serious concerns that the growth of holiday let websites is aggravating London’s housing crisis, with the majority of property listings available for more than three months a year.
Holiday Let Websites Adding to London’s Housing Crisis, Warns RLA
Recent analysis by the landlord body found that 61% of all the houses and flats listed on Airbnb in London were advertised as being available for more than 90 days per year in June.
The RLA is concerned that some property owners are using holiday let websites to provide long-term accommodation, without having to comply with all the regulations, safety and insurance rules governing the private rental sector.
Planning permission is required for short-term holiday lets in London that are available for over 90 days in any given year, to prevent property owners from avoiding the regulations covering the long-term renting of property to private tenants.
The RLA is now calling on the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, and the Government to conduct a review of the policing of Airbnb-style models, to ensure that those advertising lets of more than 90 days have permission and are not trying to get around the law.
Concern has also been raised as to how many social and private tenants are subletting in violation of their tenancy agreements.
The research from the RLA also shows that 41% of all Airbnb listings in London in June were multi-listings, meaning that property owners had more than one property listed, up from 38% in February. The number of multi-listings on Airbnb rose from 12,744 in February to 17,593 in June, signalling how commercialised the website is becoming.
The Policy Director at the RLA, David Smith, says: “London more than anywhere else in the country is in desperate need of more homes to rent and to buy.
“Given the pressures faced in the capital, it is important that properties advertised as being available for more than 90 days a year are genuine holiday lets with appropriate planning permission. Otherwise, as well as taking rental stock off the market for those looking for somewhere to live, they are also putting tenants in a vulnerable position without all the protections offered by a tenancy agreement.”
He adds: “We are calling on the Mayor of London and the Government to work together to improve the policing of such sites to ensure they are not being abused.”