The Mayor of London and local authorities in the capital are calling for the Government to introduce a registration system for short-let landlords.
Currently, short-term lets are capped at 90 days in London, but Mayor Sadiq Khan warns that only Airbnb has implemented a voluntary cap and said the rule is hard to enforce by councils.
In a letter to Housing Secretary James Brokenshire, co-signed by Airbnb and Camden, Islington, Hackney, Tower Hamlets, Westminster and Kensington & Chelsea councils, Khan said a simple, mandatory registration system would provide local authorities with the data they need to enforce the 90-day rule effectively.
He said: “Short-term lets are a benefit to visitors to London, and to Londoners themselves who want to earn a little extra money.
“But these benefits must be balanced with the need to protect long-term rented housing, and to make sure neighbours aren’t impacted by a high turnover of visitors. It is now time for the Government to work with us to develop a registration system of short-term lets, so local councils can make sure we get this balance right.”
The Mayor’s call comes as Labour MP Karen Buck this week launched an All Party Parliamentary Group on the Short Let sector.
She said: “The accommodation ‘sharing economy’ brings many benefits but the law is open to abuse, leaving councils unable to enforce effectively and struggling to manage the impact of short lets on residential communities.
“Knowing who is actually letting out their properties helps get the balance right.”
Hadi Moussa, Airbnb country manager for the UK and Northern Europe, added: “Airbnb is built on the principle of making communities stronger and we are proud to lead our industry on working with policymakers to secure smart rules that work for everyone.
“A clear and simple registration system that applies to all platforms is good news for hosts and will help authorities get the information they need to regulate our industry effectively.
“We want to continue working together with leaders in the UK and across the world to ensure that the sustainable growth of home sharing is good news for everyone.”