Airbnb Hosts Could Be Enrolled to Prevent Illegal Rental Airbnb

Airbnb hosts could put their identities on a ledger for the first time to prevent illegal short-term rents and the use of scarce social housing as vacation accommodation.

The San Francisco-based real estate rental platform will begin a consultation on guest registry proposals this week. He will ultimately present a white paper to politicians and community leaders across the UK, who have complained about being powerless to act when entire blocks are sometimes overrun with short-term rentals. Any registry would be held by government agencies rather than the provider itself and would apply to all home sharing sites.

Brighton MP Caroline Lucas last week became the latest to back calls for a registry saying it was totally unacceptable for residents to have to endure loud parties in rented apartments every weekend. As it is, the councils do not know who the hosts are.

Airbnb appears determined to show it is ready to take the lead before local governments step in, amid growing demands from council heads in Cornwall, Scotland and London tourist hubs of Camden, Kensington and Westminster for access the host’s data with a warning that they cannot control the ever-growing digital platform without it.

Earlier this year, Westminster council tenant Toby Harman was ordered to pay back more than £ 100,000 after it emerged he had flouted his rental contract by renting his Vauxhall Bridge Road apartment for hundreds of times dating back to 2013.

There were 223,200 UK listings on Airbnb in the year through July 2018, but few restrictions. In London, the law was changed in 2015 so that hosts cannot rent properties for more than 90 nights a year, but this has proven difficult for boards to control.

Patrick Robinson, director of public policy at Airbnb, said the system “would give authorities the information they need to effectively regulate home sharing, which ultimately makes communities stronger.”

The company announced last week that it would go public next year and said it would begin a six-month consultation on Thursday, including in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Bristol, Bath, Manchester, Brighton and Cornwall.

Camden Council said there were at least 7,000 properties in the borough used as short-term rentals, many of which are used illegally for more than 90 days a year.

“The result of the explosion in short-term rentals is the loss of permanent homes and rising rents, all at a time when housing needs are high,” said Danny Beales, member of the Investir cabinet. in communities. “They also often create amenity issues for residents, such as noise nuisance and waste issues. The government needs to act and put in place a mandatory short-term rental registry. We also believe that the council should have the power to introduce a tourist tax for the night, to face the associated costs.

The local government has taken steps elsewhere to regulate short-term rentals. In March, the authorities to Madrid said apartments that do not have a separate main entrance will no longer be permitted for short-term rentals, removing thousands of properties from the market.

Last year, Berlin authorities announced fines of up to € 500,000 for failing to comply with short-term rental rules, including obtaining a license from the local authority or failing to leave it permanently unoccupied.

This article was amended on September 24, 2019 to clarify that any records would be held by government agencies rather than Airbnb.

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