Boom in unregulated short-term rentals is fuelled in part by unscrupulous businesses posing as private owners
The government has suggested that it is at least considering changing the terms of its Rent A Room system which could mean ‘hosts’ letting via Airbnb and similar platforms could end up paying more tax than they do now - if they pay any at all.
A growing number of buy-to-let landlords are letting out their homes as short-term holiday lets, making them no longer available for long-term renting following the introduction of a raft of ‘anti-landlord’ policies.
A quarter of London homes listed on Airbnb were rented for more than 90 days last year, many illegally and in breach of an act intended to stop landlords turning badly needed housing into unofficial hotels. The booming homesharing website admitted on Thursday that 4,938 of its “entire home” London listings – 23% of the total – were let out for for three months or more, despite a law requiring anyone doing so to apply for planning permission.
The outgoing chief of Whitbread PLC has made a scathing attack on Airbnb and the government for its approach to what he calls “unregulated” short lets by landlords.
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