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‘No link’ between short lets and supply problems in traditional rental markets, says trade body

UK Short Term Accommodation Association denies campaigners' claims as research shows one in 50 homes in London are on Airbnb.

Nigel Lewis

short lets

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.

January 23, 2020

One comment

  1. You’ve surely got to question Merilee‘s interest in this…. it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that if a property is available on short let, it can’t be available for long term renters, thus affecting supply.

    A quick look on Short term websites and the sheer number of places available tells you all you need to know about the supply issues.

    The problem with short lets is 2 fold:

    1) In London, where we operate, we have seen quite a fair few landlords ending longer term tenancies to cash in on the short term rental. This has 100% let to less properties available for regular renters.

    2) Sub-letting: I’ve lost count of the amount of our tenants caught sub letting. Some are stupidly open about it, most are downright sneaky and have never actually stayed a night in the place we’ve rented them. Removing these tenants during the course of their tenancy is near on impossible without a lengthy and costly legal battle.

    We now dedicate a lot of resources to fighting this and enforce each and every tenant caught doing this.

    I also note a growing issue with apartments getting badly damaged by short stay renters with the named tenants not being able to afford the repairs.

    With talks of scrapping Section 21 notices, the problem will be infinitely worse…

    Don’t get me started on the loss of employment this has caused in the hotel industry and their supply chain….

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