The Government is set to make an announcement on short-lets regulations – just as the sector prepares to re-open its doors after the lockdown.

MPs are studying a new House of Commons Library briefing document discussing calls for greater regulation and will soon scrutinise a ‘white paper’ of recommendations from Airbnb when it publishes its UK roadshow findings later this month.

The platform has talked to hosts, communities and politicians across the UK about its proposals for a simple statutory registration system for short-term rentals.

Automated lettings payment platform PayProp believes that the results of Airbnb’s consultations – as well as their planned white paper – could be crucial to the future of the industry. Group chief sales officer, Neil Cobbold, says: “Implemented effectively, a short-term lets registration system could help the sector to professionalise without introducing too much red tape.”

He adds that reports of the 90-day rule in London being flouted regularly, means its effectiveness needs to be reviewed. “What’s more, as the popularity of short-term lets grows in other cities across the country, similar limits may need to be considered elsewhere,” Cobbold says.

The Commons document highlights a lack of taxation compliance by short-term landlords, the impact on local housing markets, and health and safety issues. However, the Government has no plans to ban the use of residential property for short-term lets and has been reluctant to pass further legislation.

The document also points to Office of National Statistics which estimates that 20% of adults used sites or apps such as Airbnb last year. It reports: “In 2017, Airbnb altered its booking system to automatically limit entire home listings in London to 90 nights per calendar year. However, there are various ways for short-term accommodation providers to circumvent these automatic restrictions.”

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