The trade body that represents the short-term lets industry in the UK has refuted claims that online platforms such as Airbnb are restricting supply to the traditional lettings market.
Merilee Karr, who chairs the UK Short Term Accommodation Association and runs her own agency UnderTheDoormat.com, claims there is “no research that demonstrates a concrete link between short-term rentals and a lack of housing supply in the UK”.
She also rejects recent calls for greater regulation of the sector, saying: “We believe that industry measures and host education will more directly address residential amenity concerns than any new regulations,” she told the Evening Standard newspaper.
Her comments followed research by London councils published earlier this week revealing that 74,549 flats and houses are available for short term rental in London.
This represents one in 50 properties in the capital or just over 2% of its housing stock, although the research only included ‘whole property rentals’ rather than rooms within houses or flats.
The analysts looked at all the largest short-term rental platforms including Airbnb, ooking.com, HomeAway, Niumba and TripAdvisor.
“The market [for online short-term lets] is growing out of control,” says Darren Rodwell, executive member for housing at London Councils.
His organisation is calling for greater powers to control the explosion in short-term lets in London, force landlords to register their properties and stop irresponsible homeowners allowing their properties to be used as ‘party houses’.
“Borough are hearing more and more complaints about short-term lets linked to anti-social behaviour,” adds Rodwell.