Posts with tag: short-term lets

Short-term lets market needs regulation to stamp out rogue operators

Published On: November 13, 2019 at 9:22 am


Categories: Law News

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Short-term lets provide plenty of opportunities for letting agencies and landlords, but PayProp believes that this fast-growing market could benefit from regulation.

The lettings payment automation provider says that professionalisation is needed for short lets in order to provide the necessary protection for all stakeholders.

Using ideas taken from the traditional lettings market, we could see a reduction in the number of negative experiences and see more people benefit from the availability of short-term lets.

Huge growth over a short period

In recent years the short-term lets market has seen rapid growth. Tenants enjoy the flexibility it offers, while landlords are attracted to the high yields it can provide.

The Chartered Institute of Housing has reported over 77,000 short-term lets were listed on Airbnb in London alone during April 2019 and over 10,000 in Edinburgh.

Neil Cobbold, Chief Operating Officer of PayProp UK, says: “The fast growth of this market shows there is a clear appetite for this type of accommodation, but short lets could benefit from regulation in order for the sector to be sustainable.

“There is currently no mandatory regulation of short lets, which is concerning when you consider that landlords now have to comply with 156 regulations to let a property long-term – a rise of 32% in just nine years, according to the Residential Landlords Association.”

Horror stories show need for short-term lets market regulation

Several high-profile cases involving rogue operators have occurred recently, in which landlords, tenants and agents could have been protected with the right regulation. 

BBC One’s Inside Out recently focused on the extent of illegal sub-letting via short-term lets websites.

In particular, a London agency discovered tenants checking a family into an apartment it was managing for a client. Once investigated, it was revealed that the flat had over 70 reviews on Airbnb.

Meanwhile, Lord Alan Sugar has claimed that scammers used images of one of his London properties to create a fake Airbnb listing, costing a group of American tourists $600.

Cobbold comments: “The number of stories of short-term lets being mismanaged or used to scam people appears to be growing.

“The unregulated nature of the sector is likely to be a contributing factor to this as fraudsters see a fast-growing market where there are opportunities to make large sums of money quickly and very few rules to comply with.”

First steps taken, but further action needed for the short-term lets market

In response to this negative press, a new industry-specific trade body was recently launched.

The Professional Host Alliance proclaims that its mission is to ‘accelerate the professionalisation of a sustainable, global short-term rental sector and build trust in the home-sharing economy’.

Cobbold adds: “The launch of a trade body for short-lets firms is welcome and hopefully it can build momentum by signing up some of the industry’s biggest names.

“Introducing more rules for short-term let landlords and agents to follow, as well as minimum standards for hosts to meet, could represent the next steps of progress.

“Managing short-lets undoubtedly provides letting agencies with a huge opportunity, but there need to be more parallels with traditional private rentals for this new revenue stream to be ultimately safe and successful.”

Hostmaker Apologises for Holiday Let Ad seen as “an Attack on the City”

Published On: June 4, 2019 at 8:03 am


Categories: Lettings News

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Hostmaker, the holiday lets platform, has agreed to remove its ‘anti-tenant’ adverts from the London transport network.

Generation Rent, the national campaign for private renters, began a petition, after a holiday let ad appeared, encouraging landlords to change their investments from long-term tenant lets to short-term holiday lets, claiming the latter would earn them 30% more. 

Londoners made this appeal to Mayor Sadiq Khan, asking him to ban such adverts, as they were at odds with his goal of making renting more affordable in the city. Over 8,000 people signed a petition on the 38 Degrees website within the space of 12 days.

The decision was also made for protesters to gather at Bond Street Station to campaign against the advert, which suggests that landlords should turn to holiday lets for higher profits. 

Hostmaker then released a statement on Friday, apologising for the adverts. The company has now acknowledged that “the tone was misguided”. 

In the statement, Nakul Sharma, CEO of Hostmaker, said: “the adverts will be coming down this weekend and we will be reviewing all future creatives with our partners.”

This statement also said that Hostmaker’s “portfolio is made up of premium homes in zone 1&2 postcodes and does not take affordable housing stock away from the market.”

Dan Wilson Craw, Director of Generation Rent, has commented: “The growing short term lets market is taking homes away from ordinary Londoners, pushing up rents and eroding the capital’s local communities. These adverts were an attack on the city and we are glad that Hostmaker is now doing the right thing and taking them down.

“But it is still far too easy for landlords to take homes out of the long term rental market in pursuit of higher profits. We need much stronger regulation of the holiday lets market so that we can give all Londoners an affordable home.”

‘Distasteful’ London Holiday Lets Ad Sparks Petition to Sadiq Khan

Published On: May 31, 2019 at 9:04 am


Categories: Lettings News

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A ban on adverts encouraging landlords to move from providing long-term homes to tenants to Airbnb-style lettings has been called for in London.

Over 8,000 Londoners have appealed to Sadiq Khan, asking for changes to be made.

A petition was started by Generation Rent, the national campaign for private renters, on the 38 Degrees website. This movement has come after Hostmaker, a property management company, paid for adverts across the Transport for London (TfL) network, suggesting that landlords can earn 30% more by switching to holiday lets.

In response, Generation Rent supporters gathered yesterday at Bond Street Station entrance, to protest. They took their own advert on to the TfL network and one protester put on a pigeon mask, to represent the Hostmaker mascot, whilst another acted out shooing them away.

This petition fights back against the tube advertisement, described by Generation Rent as ‘distasteful’, for undermining the Mayor of London’s efforts to make affordable housing available in London.

Support has been gained from London politicians including Karen Buck MP and Assembly members Sian Berry and Tom Copley.

Generation Rent Campaigner Georgie Laming commented: “These tube ads are feeding a narrative that tenants are disposable, and profiteering from property is more important than providing long term homes. They are encouraging landlords to take homes off the market and turn them into hotels that will be often left empty, contributing nothing to the local community.

“If Sadiq Khan is truly committed to making housing affordable in London then he needs to ban ads like these. Unregulated holiday lets are driving up rents and preventing tenants from making a house a home.”

Megan Bentall, Campaigns Manager at 38 Degrees also commented: “Short term lets are spreading across London, pushing up the costs of rent and forcing people out of the communities they’ve always lived in. So these ads are in pretty poor taste.

“That’s why 8,000 people across London are calling for Sadiq Khan to step up and block these ads from Transport for London spaces. The public want politicians to work to fix the housing crisis – not allow companies to run dodgy ads that will make it worse.”

Update: Comment from Hostmaker

Nakul Sharma, Hostmaker CEO, has since commented on their ad compaign, stating: “We are sorry for the concern caused by our recent ad campaign and we acknowledge the tone was misguided. The adverts will be coming down this weekend and we will be reviewing all future creatives with our partners. 

In a cosmopolitan city like London, there is a need for a range of housing and rental solutions to meet the needs of the wide variety of residents and visitors in our capital city. Whilst it’s critical that there is plenty of affordable housing stock available, our portfolio is made up of premium homes in zone 1&2 postcodes and does not take affordable housing stock away from the market.  We are here to meet the needs of Londoners and visitors to the capital who would prefer to stay in a high quality, furnished and managed home service. We provide a flexible lettings model to homeowners of these type of properties; blending long-term, mid-term and short-term rentals to suit market demands and help homeowners weather the current slump in rent prices and property sales, ensuring they aren’t left with gaps in the year when their property is standing empty.”

Mayor of London must Pull Short-Term Lettings Ads, RLA Argues

Published On: May 24, 2019 at 9:00 am


Categories: Lettings News

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The Mayor of London must pull short-term lettings advertisements from Transport for London (TfL), calling on landlords to stop providing homes for Londoners and move into tourist lets instead, argues the Residential Landlords Association (RLA).

The organisation has expressed its support to calls for Sadiq Khan to remove the adverts by short-term lettings firm Hostmaker from the TfL network. 

RLA research shows that short-term lettings have already had a significant impact on the number of homes to rent available to Londoners and has the potential to push up rent prices.

The figures show that listings on the short-term lettings site Airbnb rose by 60%, to 53,000 listings in the capital in the 12 months to 2017 alone, and the popularity of these sites shows no sign of slowing down.

Laws limit the number of days a home in London can be let on a short-term basis to 90 nights per year, to prevent properties being taken from the long-term rental market, with Airbnb making a firm commitment to enforcing these rules.

However, a recent investigation by the BBC found that Hostmaker was one of a number of companies encouraging landlords to flout these rules.

London Assembly member Tom Copley has now written to Khan, who is the Chair of the TfL, asking for the adverts to be removed, with a petition on the issue attracting more than 600 signatures.

David Smith, the Policy Director of the RLA, comments on the issue: “While people have the right to do what they want with their properties, the movement of homes from the long term to short-term lettings sector is damaging to communities and to the supply of homes to rent for ordinary Londoners.

“The sentiment of these advertisements contradicts the Mayor’s own policy on short-term lettings, and we call for their swift removal.”

Landlords and Homeowners can Cash In on 2019’s Biggest Events using Airbnb

Published On: May 7, 2019 at 10:01 am


Categories: Property News


Letting your rental property or home through Airbnb – or another short-term lettings site – during a UK music festival or sporting event could earn you thousands of pounds, new research by Mojo Mortgages claims.

Use of Airbnb is surging in some of the UK’s biggest cities, and, with a packed calendar of events lined up for the rest of the year, Mojo wondered how much money property owners could make by letting their homes during these periods, as demand for a place to stay peaks.

Using Airbnb’s average per-night cost for two people, Mojo looked at how much money landlords and homeowners could make by letting their properties during some of the UK’s most exciting events and the summer holiday season. It also looked at the average nightly fee in the two weeks before each high demand period.

It found that letting your property through Airbnb during music and arts festivals can make you more than three figures per night!

Unsurprisingly, the UK’s most popular music festival appears to boast some of the most expensive Airbnbs. In Somerset, Airbnb properties in the areas surrounding the legendary Glastonbury festival will cost an average of £218 per night in nearby Shepton Mallet and £148 in Glastonbury itself.

Property owners near the UK’s most sought after festival could, therefore, make up to four figures across the event, by letting their whole homes.

As reported recently, many properties in Edinburgh turn into Airbnbs during the famous Fringe Festival, and, after looking at the average cost per night, it’s easy to see why…

Landlords and Homeowners can Cash In on 2019’s Biggest Events using Airbnb

The typical price for a night’s stay during the festival is £211, compared to £119 in the month before. 

Similarly to festivals, letting your property through Airbnb during a sporting event can potentially make you thousands of pounds.

Portrush in Northern Ireland will host the 2019 Open, attracting golf fans from around the world who will need a place to stay. It’s also the location where you can earn the most on Airbnb, at an average nightly price of £703.

Although prices range from £33-£8,661, letting your property during this golfing spectacular could make you hundreds of pounds – especially compared to the average nightly price of £126 in the two weeks before the event.

Elsewhere, Wimbledon and Silverstone could make you big money if you have a property to stick on Airbnb. With average prices of around £190 per night, you could potentially make thousands from tourists and tennis fans.

Likewise, if you’re going on holiday for a week or two during the summer, letting your home could make you a significant amount of money. Mojo looked at the average nightly prices for an Airbnb in 27 UK towns and cities for the first three weeks of the summer holidays, and the results are impressive.

The locations with the highest average prices during the summer holidays are Edinburgh and Newquay, at £209 and £192 per night respectively.

The next most expensive locations are: London, Brighton, York, Cheltenham, Bournemouth and Canterbury, all commanding more than £100 a night.

However, you may not make much if you have a home in one of the following areas: Sheffield, Swansea and Kings Lynn, which all have average prices between £75-£80 a night.

Will you be cashing in on these events by using Airbnb?

Airbnb is Backing Sadiq Khan’s Call for Short-Term Lets Register

Published On: April 29, 2019 at 9:31 am


Categories: Lettings News


With almost 1 in every 40 properties listed on Airbnb, the holiday lettings website has continued to grow since it started in San Francisco in 2008.

However, whilst this growth means huge potential for hosts in particular, such huge growth in the short-term lets sector can pose problems too.

Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, says: “Short-term lets are a benefit to visitors to London, and to Londoners themselves who want to earn a little extra money. But these benefits must be balanced with the need to protect long-term rented housing, and to make sure neighbours aren’t impacted by a high turnover of visitors. It is now time for the Government to work with us to develop a registration system of short-term lets, so local councils can make sure we get this balance right.”

Karen Buck, Labour MP for Westminster North, said: “I strongly welcome the Mayor’s initiative, coming on the day I am setting up an All-Party Parliamentary Group on the short-term let sector, to look at how we balance the competing interests involved. The accommodation ‘sharing economy’ brings many benefits but the law is open to abuse, leaving councils unable to enforce effectively and struggling to manage the impact of short lets on residential communities. Knowing who is actually letting out their properties helps get the balance right.”

Hadi Moussa, Airbnb Country Manager for the UK and Northern Europe, comments: “Airbnb is built on the principle of making communities stronger and we are proud to lead our industry on working with policymakers to secure smart rules that work for everyone.

“A clear and simple registration system that applies to hosts on all platforms is good news for hosts and will help authorities get the information they need to regulate our industry effectively. We want to continue working together with leaders in the UK and across the world to ensure that the sustainable growth of home sharing is good news for everyone.”

A press release from Airbnb said: “The UK has been a world leader in regulating the sharing economy and London is a top destination for guests from across the world. From July 2017 to July 2018, more than 2 million guests have stayed at listings on Airbnb in the capital, generating £1.3 billion for the economy and encouraging visitors to explore and stay in all parts of the city.

“Our platform is built on the principle of making communities stronger. We are proud of the responsible role hosts and guests on Airbnb have played in London and are pleased to continue leading our industry on working with policymakers to ensure rules are applied equally to everyone. We want to continue working together with leaders in the UK and across the world to ensure that the sustainable growth of home sharing is good news for everyone.”

For more reading and information on short-term lets, check out our article on What Makes the Best Airbnb Investment!