The BHA is encouraged that Airbnb has agreed from January 2017, to block hosts from renting entire homes for more than the 90 days a year permitted in London, unless they have a licence to do so.
It is a welcome step to start to take steps to ensure that Airbnb hosts comply with the law.
Over the past few years, the BHA has consistently confronted the difficulties arising from the role of home sharing platforms as ‘intermediaries’ – operating a huge sharing economy without responsibility for the services they facilitate or obligation to provide data to relevant authorities to enforce the law, without which rogue landlords can ignore fire, health and food safety laws and avoid paying taxes. The BHA has also led effective lobbying in Parliament, the House of Lords and the Greater London Authority.
Ufi Ibrahim, CEO of the BHA has said:
“We see the move by Airbnb as a step forward in the enforcement of regulation in the home sharing economy, urgently needed to protect residents of London, provide a safe environment for visitors to the city and a level playing field for the hospitality industry.
However, we will continue to ensure fair competition for our members in terms of regulation and taxes, and to ensure all home sharing platforms assume a duty of care to their hosts and guests.”