Holiday accommodation sites being used for long term letting
New research suggests that an increasing number of landlords are attempting to shirk the legal responsibilities of renting out property by advertising it as a holiday let on sites such as Airbnb.
Almost two thirds (65%) of all listings on Airbnb in London are for lets of 90 days or more, according to the Residential Landlords Association (RLA).
This could be breaking the law which says that lets on a short-term basis can be for no longer than 90 days per calendar year.
Some 7,000 entire homes or flats are multi-listings, whereby hosts have more than one listing, says the RLA and of these 78% are available for more than 90 days per year.
By advertising longer lets through these holiday home websites, landlords may be avoiding having to give tenants secure tenancy agreements, a protected deposit and having to meet safety regulations, the RLA are concerned.
Many existing tenants may also be using these websites to advertise rooms for sub-letting without the consent or knowledge of their landlord.
15% of landlords have experienced tenants advertising a property or room on letting sites without asking for permission, according to a survey of RLA Members.
Such activity could mean that landlords fall foul of HMO licensing requirements and also face problems under the new ‘right to rent’ legislation as they will not have been able to check the residency status of tenants.
The trade body are now calling for the government and new mayor of London clampdown on the potentially criminal use of holiday letting sites.
“The growing popularity of holiday letting sites such as Airbnb raises serious questions about their potential for abuse,” says Alan Ward, chairman of the Residential Landlords Association.
“Ministers must act to clamp down on those property owners using the website to deny tenants safe, legal and secure accommodation. Landlords also need support to address illegal sub-letting of properties by their tenants.”