Housing minister Kit Malthouse has waded into the ongoing debate over the rapid expansion of Airbnb in the UK by confirming that the government supports ‘new business models and the economic benefits that they can bring’, he told parliament yesterday.
His response followed a written question by Labour MP and shadow minister for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs David Drew, who asked Malthouse what plans he had to close the loophole in planning laws that enables second home buyers to rent out their homes via short-let online platform.
Although the minister confirmed that that government would not intervene to regulate the use of Airbnb in the UK, he did say that all landlords who let accommodation on a short-term basis must “do so responsibly and in accordance with the law”.
His comments follow a campaign by Westminster to clamp down on the use of Airbnb by landlords.
It has the highest proportion of residents living in privately rented accommodation at 37% and has been spearheading attempt to reign-in short-let platforms such as Airbnb and its imitators for several years.
Westminster recently launched an online campaign to prompt its residents to report Airbnb properties that cause ‘significant disruption, fear, alarm or distress to neighbours’ and tell the council if the suspect properties are being rented for more than 90 days a year, the locally-agreed limit in London.
Data from Airdna shows that in London there are 60,471 properties which have been booked (rather than being just available) of which 38,454 are ‘entire homes’ booked via Airbnb and its key rival HomeAway, bringing in an average revenue of £2,571 a month during June, one of the ‘high season’ months.
Read more about Kit Malthouse.