Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has quoted the Residential Landlords Association and its research in a discussion on Airbnb during Mayor’s Question Time.
Mr Khan was responding to a question by Assembly Member Tom Copley on the issue of Airbnb rentals in the capital and the potential impact on the PRS.
Mr Khan said: “I was concerned to read recent reports from the Residential Landlords Association about the number of homes being advertised for short term lets that otherwise would go to Londoners who rent privately.
“For these reasons I understand the concerns that some people have about short term lettings in London.”
He pointed out that rules regarding lettings of this kind in the capital changed last year and said that he would be happy to work with the local authorities if they had concerns that Airbnb was being misused or having a negative impact on the number of homes available for rent.
He said: “These changes have had almost 18 months to bed in and for boroughs to monitor and enforce.
“If boroughs are finding that the legislation needs to be revisited to make sure we find a better way of balancing the benefits of the sharing economy with the protection of local residents and the retention of housing for long term use, then I am more than happy to work with boroughs and discuss with Government whether changes may be needed.”
Mr Copley said councils are struggling to enforce the rules due to a lack of resources and because they don’t know the scale of the issue.
He also asked whether the onus of responsibility – in making sure those letting homes were not acting unlawfully – should be on Airbnb itself.
The Mayor said he understood there are already monitors in place, but said that if the London boroughs wanted his help in organising a meeting with Airbnb he would be willing to do so.
The RLA has produced two research papers looking at the issue, The Rental Revolution – what the sharing economy is doing to the PRS? and The Bedroom Boom – Airbnb and London.
The association has concerns that some properties listed on Airbnb are rental homes being taken off the market to be used as lucrative holiday lets. There are also issues with social and private tenants subletting in contravention of their tenancy agreements.
To watch a video of Mayor’s Question Time click here.