MP targeting Airbnb quotes RLA research in Commons

Sally Walmsley
Written by Sally Walmsley

An MP is calling for greater policing of short-term lets such as Airbnb rentals, quoting RLA research in the House of Commons.

Labour MP Karen Buck yesterday introduced a 10-minute Rule Bill in the House of Commons to highlight the dangers of Airbnb and similar lettings sites to neighbourhoods and the wider rental sector.

The bill would mean householders would have to notify local authorities of plans to register homes for short or holiday lets.

This follows high-profile campaigning by the RLA on the impact of Airbnb and similar sites on the availability of homes to rent.

Speaking in the House of Commons yesterday she said: “We now have an emerging consensus, including London councils of different political complexions, the Mayor of London and London Assembly members, on the need for further action.

“So today I am putting forward a proposal that will make it possible to effectively enforce the rules preventing the abuse of short and holiday let accommodation.

“Although I welcome the freedom for homeowners to let their properties for such purposes without excessive bureaucratic interference, it is difficult and expensive for cash-strapped councils to police the rules.”

She added: “Research by the Residential Landlords Association shows that 41% of all Airbnb listings in London last June were multi-listings, meaning that the property owners had more than one property advertised; this increase, to some 17,590 properties, is also a sign that the website is increasingly becoming commercialised.”

She said that currently the only way for local authority staff to identify holiday lettings, and breaches of the rules was to comb the websites to find them and claimed the system she proposes would make Airbnb-style lets easier to monitor and police.

The introduction of the bill comes after the MP surveyed constituents about the issue.

Of the 218 who replied a massive 80 per cent thought that it should be easier to enforce the current rules stating that homes should not be let out for more than 90 days in the capital.

Her research also found 81% had experience of nearby homes being let out in this way and more than half had experience problems including anti-social behaviour such as noisy parties and even issues with drugs and prostitution.

The MP’s Short Lets Report, which also explores other issues regarding the PRS and the housing crisis can be accessed here.

To read the transcript of the motion in the Commons click here.


About the author

Sally Walmsley

Sally Walmsley

Sally Walmsley is the Magazine and Digital Editor for the NRLA. With 20 years’ experience writing for regional and national newspapers and magazines she is responsible for editing our members' magazine 'Property', producing our articles for our news site, the weekly and monthly bulletins and editorial content for our media partners.

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