Mark Whitehead 04 April 2019

Housing experts call for more regulation on Airbnb-style lets

The Chartered Institute of Housing has called for regulation of Airbnb-style short-term lets to prevent the loss of private rented homes.

It says the rapid growth of Airbnb has been a boon to tourists and landlords but could displace long-term residents from their communities if left unregulated.

The institute's annual UK Housing Review says Airbnb alone has over 77,000 lets in Greater London, more than half of which are entire homes, mainly concentrated in Westminster, Tower Hamlets and Hackney.

Edinburgh has over 10,000 short-term lets, with its city centre ward alone having two Airbnb lets for every 13 homes, while the Isle of Skye in rural Scotland has one Airbnb letting for every 10 houses.

The institute says the growth in short-term lets could mean insurance, fire safety and planning permission could be at risk and communal spaces lost in 'globalhoods' dominated by Airbnb short-term lets.

CIH chief executive Terrie Alafat said: 'We need to find a way to accommodate the housing needs of individual residents while allowing tourism to continue in our most popular locations.

'More regulation could be necessary if growth continues and local authorities still have no way to accurately monitor numbers.'

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