February 19

Airbnb Supports Gove’s Short-Term Let Landlord Registry


The rising popularity of serviced apartments attracts guests seeking hotel-like comforts while maintaining their privacy. To stand out among the competition and increase profitability, it’s crucial to enhance your marketing strategies for your multiple properties in town.

Airbnb has publicly thrown its support behind Housing Secretary Michael Gove’s recent proposition, endorsing the implementation of a mandatory register specifically designed for short-term let landlords. This significant backing comes in tandem with a comprehensive set of measures unveiled this morning, constituting a concerted effort by the government to fortify regulations governing short-term lets throughout England.

The proposed mandatory register stands as a cornerstone initiative, intended to instill greater transparency and accountability within the short-term rental sector. Airbnb’s endorsement is not only indicative of a collaborative industry-government approach but also highlights a shared commitment to addressing the intricate challenges presented by the proliferation of short-term lets. This supportive stance aligns seamlessly with the government’s overarching goal of creating a more regulated and balanced environment, ensuring the interests of both landlords and tenants are adequately addressed in the evolving landscape of short-term rentals.

Councils are poised to acquire heightened control over short-term lets by integrating them into the planning process, as asserted by Gove. This strategic move aims to provide support to local residents in regions where the prevalence of short-term lets impedes their ability to secure housing they can either afford to buy or rent.

In the proposed adjustments to the planning framework, a distinctive planning use class is slated for creation, specifically tailored for short-term lets not employed as primary or sole residences. Underlining this modification is the provision that existing dedicated short-term lets will undergo an automatic reclassification into this fresh use class. This deliberate streamlining of the process eliminates the requirement for a separate planning application, contributing to a more efficient and straightforward regulatory landscape for property owners engaged in short-term lettings.

In addition to the aforementioned measures, the government is set to introduce associated permitted development rights, offering a nuanced approach to property transformations. One facet of these rights enables the conversion of a property from a short-term let to a standard residential dwelling, providing property owners with flexibility in adapting their assets. Another dimension allows a property to transition into a short-term let, catering to the evolving needs of the rental market. However, local authorities retain the authority to rescind these permissions and mandate full planning permission, utilizing a tailored approach based on the specific considerations of their respective areas.

Concurrently, the forthcoming mandatory national register emerges as a crucial tool for local authorities, aiming to enrich their understanding of the short-term letting landscape within their jurisdiction. The government anticipates that this comprehensive registry will empower councils to gauge the prevalence of short-term lets, assess their impacts on local communities, and fortify oversight to ensure strict compliance with fundamental health and safety regulations. This multifaceted approach reflects the government’s commitment to fostering a regulated and adaptive environment for short-term lets, balancing the interests of property owners and the broader community.

Homeowners maintaining their primary or sole residence can continue letting it without requiring planning consent, but the allowance is capped at 90 nights per year.

Amanda Cupples, Airbnb’s general manager for Northern Europe, views the introduction of a short-term lets register positively, stating that it provides clear rules for families hosting on Airbnb. She believes local authorities will benefit from access to necessary information for assessing and managing housing impacts, fostering healthier communities where needed. However, this perspective is not shared by the Short Term Accommodation Association, with its CEO, Andy Fenner, expressing disappointment. Fenner notes that despite their longstanding call for a registration scheme, the current proposal fails to address the country’s pressing challenges adequately.

“The registration scheme could have been game changing for tourism in England had it covered all types of accommodation but, instead, what we’ve got is a missed opportunity that’s a half-way house at best. Had it been that comprehensive, politicians up and down the country would have been able to make well-informed decisions on planning. 

“They’d have been able to see exactly how the tourist industry functioned in their local area, which is important because a one-size-fits-all approach that achieves the right balance in one place would crush the tourism in another. 

“Instead, the holiday let industry is doomed to continue being unfairly regarded as tourism’s problem child, second-best to hotels, and unjustly taking the brunt of the blame game surrounding housing supply and affordability, despite the lack of a proper evidence base. The presumption is that, if you shut down all short term rentals tomorrow, the housing crisis would be solved but that is naive in the extreme. 

“The holiday let industry is not responsible for the housing crisis. Its causes run far deeper than that and are centred mainly on a lack of housebuilding and the abandoning of housing targets. 


AirBnb, Airbnb Clampdown, Clampdown, Michael Gove MP, STAA

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