Airbnb research produced by the RLA has been cited in a Lords debate on holiday lettings and their impact.
Baroness Gardner of Parkes (Conservative) yesterday asked her oral questions in the House of Lords about whether the Government intends to give powers to local authorities to prevent the further loss of long-term homes resulting from increases in short-term holiday lets.
She also asked whether the UK Government could ban short Airbnb-type holidays in blocks occupied by long-term residents.
Communities and Local Government spokesperson, Lord Young of Cookham, told the house that local planning authorities already have ‘a range of ways’ to tackle any breaches of planning control, which should be used in a proportionate manner and noted Airbnb’s recent decision to stop homeowners letting properties for more than the 90 permitted days.
Lord Flight (Conservative) quoted the RLA’s research. He told the house: “Is it not the essence of the problem in London that local authorities are not using their powers?
“I understand that 61% of all the homes and apartments on Airbnb were listed as being available for more than 90 days. How can that be when 90 days is the limit? Clearly, local authorities are disregarding the breach of that rule.”
Lord Young said this problem would be stopped when Airbnb applies its new restrictions next year. He added: “It is possible for a local authority to remove the 90-day rule and apply for an exemption, either for particular properties or for residential properties situated in a specific area, if there is a “loss of amenity”. If that is the case, the ability to short-let for up to 90 days does not apply.”
Shadow Communities and Local Government Minister, Lord Kennedy of Southwark (Labour) welcomed Airbnb’s announcement around the 90 day limit, but asked for assurances that if enforcement becomes a problem the Government will work with the RLA and other agencies to address it.
He said: “If anything comes to light whereby this company—or any other company or organisation involved in this process—is not fulfilling its obligation to ensure that landlords live up to theirs, and that they are offering proper assured shorthold tenancies for more than 90 days, the Government will work with the Mayor of London, London Councils, the Residential Landlords Association and others to see what can be done to strengthen the law and ensure that tenants get the protections they deserve?”
The former Cabinet Office Minister, Lord Clark of Windermere (Labour) also spoke in the debate, raising the issue of holiday lets in areas such as the Lake District, where he claims more than 70% of homes in some villages are available only as rentals for tourists.
To read the full transcript visit the Hansard parliment website.
To read the RLA’s latest report into the Airbnb phenomenon click here.