Sadiq Khan, the London Mayor, is advocating for the authority to implement rent controls and seeking licensing regulations for Airbnbs and other short-term rentals in the city. He argues that the significant growth of short-lets, driven by platforms like Airbnb, is worsening the housing crisis in London. Referring to data from InsideAirbnb, Khan highlights that there are currently 81,792 listings on Airbnb in London, with 50,401 entire properties available for short-term rentals, indicating that approximately one in every 74 homes in the capital is offered for such purposes.
Sadiq Khan is urging Rishi Sunak to collaborate with him and local borough councils to establish a licensing system. This would enable authorities to control the number of licenses issued and prevent entire streets or blocks from being exclusively used for short-term lets.
At present, London homeowners can rent their properties for up to 90 days annually. However, Khan highlights that borough councils lack adequate funding to oversee compliance.
Khan proposes charging for licenses and enforcing business rates for properties rented for over 90 days a year. This would not only provide financial incentives for councils, compensating for budget cuts, but also allow them to enhance enforcement measures against unregistered landlords.
Khan mentions that he has studied cities like Barcelona, Amsterdam, and Paris, which have implemented licensing schemes.
He emphasizes his dedication to addressing London’s housing crisis by constructing genuinely affordable and high-quality homes for its residents. However, the lack of regulation in the short-term letting market hinders these efforts. While acknowledging the significance of short-term lets for tourism, he stresses that it should not come at the expense of housing for Londoners.
Khan advocates for transparency regarding the number of properties rented beyond the permitted rules and accountability to local authorities and residents. He urges the government to collaborate with him and borough councils in developing a licensing system to bring order to this rapidly expanding sector and safeguard Londoners from further losses in housing to short-term lets.
Read more Property Investing News HERE