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Increase in London Airbnb properties shows need for short-term letting register, Labour says

A FOURFOLD increase in properties being let as Airbnb holiday homes in the capital reinforces the case for a short-term let register, Labour’s London As­­­­sembly housing spokesman said today.

Nearly 80,000 rooms or homes in London are listed on Airbnb, the highest in any British city, according to BBC figures from housing advocacy site Inside Airbnb.

This is up from 20,000 in 2015.

Listings in Edinburgh doubled in three years, the BBC also reported. City of Edinburgh Council has called for licensing of the practice.

Around half of listings in the UK come from hosts with more than one property, and 24 per cent of listings in London are by hosts with five or more properties to let. 

Labour’s London Assembly housing spokesman Tom Copley said the increase in London spaces shows that more needs to be done to prevent some landlords from “effectively turning their homes into hotels without planning permission.”

He said: “Flawed legislation has placed the burden of enforcing the 90-day limit on councils, without giving them the necessary resources and access to data.

“There also remains an abundance of advice on the internet about how hosts can get around the 90-day limit.

“I back calls made by City Hall and supported by Airbnb itself for the government to implement a register for short-term let properties.

“We want to see London gain the economic benefits of tourism that short-term lets create, but this needs to happen without putting pressure on our housing supply.”

One per cent of hosts control 17 per cent of the London’s Airbnb market, and there are 11 Airbnb hosts with more than 100 listings each.

In Bristol and Edinburgh 1 per cent of hosts are responsible for 11 per cent of listings.

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