The architect of RoPA, Lord Best, has called on the government to include Airbnb and other short-let platforms within the remit of his planned new regulator.
His comments were made in the House of Lords yesterday to government housing minister Viscount Younger of Leckie.
“In view of the misgivings that abound about Airbnb and others…might it not be a good idea for the regulator’s remit to include these organisations as well,” he said.
Viscount Younger replied that although the government did not want to regulate short-lets ‘at the moment’ she would give ‘careful consideration to the point that he raised’.
Following the debate, Lord Best told The Negotiator that he made the comments because there is “quite a lot of concern about aspects of short term lets and that it is an unregulated sector, which he believes is quite odd for a major sector in which so much money changes hands.
Lord Best says the bill that will turn his Regulation of Property Agents or RoPA proposals into law was unlikely to include Airbnb at first, but that provision could be made to draw the global firm into the regulation at a later date.
This refers to the unusual way that the RoPA bill be introduced, initially tackling just the regulation and licencing of estate agents but then enabling the introduction of other measures.
These will include reform of leaseholds, freeholders, private landlords, house builders and now, if Lord Best gets his way, Airbnb.
“I think the full regulation of the A to Z of the property industry will take about five years to complete,” he says.
Read The Negotiator’s full interview with Lord Best tomorrow.