Airbnb announce new 90 day restriction on London short term lets

Wednesday, December 7th, 2016 -

In response to concern about the number of properties being rented out on short term lets, Airbnb have announced new restrictions that will come into force on 1 January 2017.

Following implementation of the Deregulation Act in 2015, Londoners have been able to rent out residential properties for ‘temporary sleeping accommodation’ for up to 90 nights in a calendar year without it constituting a ‘material change of use’ for which planning permission is needed.

However, there has been growing concern that this 90-night limit is being widely ignored and London boroughs have limited capacity to investigate such cases and take appropriate enforcement action.

In June 2016, the Evening Standard’s Homes and Property supplement highlighted a case in Ladbroke Grove where the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea had issued a planning enforcement notice on a property owner who had exceeded the 90-night short term let restriction (read here).

Responding to these concerns, Airbnb have announced that from 1 January 2017, entire home listings in the London area will be automatically restricted to a maximum of 90 nights per year. Longer periods will only by permitted if the owner certifies they have obtained planning approval to do so.

The new restrictions will only apply to listings in the London area. Other parts of the country will not be affected.

What is less clear is how this will apply to multiple occupied properties such as shared houses and bedsits where each room is advertised separately.

In explaining the reasons for this change, Airbnb said:

We want to help ensure that home sharing grows responsibly and sustainably’ and makes London’s communities stronger.

This announcement follows an unprecedented six month project with partners across London to investigate how we can deliver the commitments that our platform is promoting responsible home sharing and remove unwelcome commercial operators“.

Responding to the announcement, Karen Buck MP, Westminster North tweeted:

Next short-let challenge will be to ensure property owners don’t breach the 90-day let limit by simply switching to other letting platforms“.

Karen Buck MP short term let tweet

More information about the new restrictions can be found on the Airbnb website.