Airbnb lays down challenge in short-term lettings sector as it marks growth in UK

Airbnb is making further inroads into the short-stay private rental sector after announcing the first three UK companies to join its ‘Professional Co-host Program’.

They are Air Agents, Pass the Keys and BnBBuddy. None are agents, although there are agents offering Airbnb services, and were typically started by friends who went travelling.

The three all aim to provide benefits to people who are eager to share their space but may not have time to welcome guests and prepare their listings. Some of these services include:

  • Helping hosts communicate with guests
  • Listings
  • Co-ordinating check-ins and exchanging keys
  • Providing estimates of what hosts could earn on Airbnb and advice on how to create an attractive listing page to increase bookings

Listings overseen in London will remain subject to automated hosting limits and be blocked from sharing homes for more than 90 nights a year, unless hosts have the permits required to share their space more frequently.

Air Agents manages 200 properties in London, and aims to increase this to 1,500 by the end of this year. BnBBuddy started in Scoptland but now operates throughout the UK, starting off life as a company that helped people list on Airbnb but has now evolved into a full-service property management service in the short-term lets market. Pass the Keys also offers full-service property management.

Airbnb says its UK market has 6m inbound guests, and that the market is expanding. There are currently some 168,000 listings on its platform.

Various government consultations appear to be silent on whether these short-term landlords will have to sign up for redress or other regulation beyond the 90-day restriction in London.


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  1. David M

    I’m not in anyway an “expert” in short-term lets or Airbnb but I have experience in helping landlords recover possession when a tenant has illegally sublet using Airbnb etc.

    To me, there are a few key areas that really should be addressed:

    Property Ownership – Airbnb don’t, in my opinion, take any responsibility to ensure that the “hosts” are the owner or have permission from the owner to rent the property; other than a line in their terms and conditions to say you must have permission.  A simple Land registry check along with verified ID check’s would surely be sensible.

    Smoke Alarm Checks – From what I understand it is very rare for the Hosts to meet the tenants and so how do they comply with the smoke alarm regulations to ensure the alarms have been checked at the “start” of the tenancy?  I get those hosting companies might be able to solve this – but the average host probably keeps no record and it is only one fire away from serious consequences.


    90 Limits-  Once “hosts” hit 90 days they simply move to another platform, surely the info should be passed to the local authority so they can enforce/monitor this.


  2. Maxime15

    I am working in an Airbnb property management company operating in Australia and more specifically in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

    This is a great news for the short-term rental industry in the UK.

    The competition in the industry will continue to be very harsh but it means for the homeowners and the guests that they will have better services.

    Maxime from MadeComfy.



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