The British Hospitality Association has backed a leading MP’s call for action over unscrupulous landlords taking advantage of home sharing sites like Airbnb to illegally let out properties.
Business innovation and skills committee chairman Iain Wright MP wrote to London mayor Sadiq Khan last week to raise the issue.
He pointed out that the BHA has voiced concern that companies such as Airbnb “enable landlords to circumvent tax, food, health and fire safety regulations thereby securing an unfair competitive advantage over other providers of accommodation”.
Wright pointed out that investigations into temporary property letting companies have found that many landlords appear to be operating illegally by letting properties for more than the permitted 90 days a year but that the current law is unenforceable.
BHA chief executive Ufi Ibrahim said: “We welcome Iain Wright’s letter highlighting the concern that home-sharing platforms Airbnb enable landlords to circumvent tax, food, health and fire safety regulations.
“As well as enabling rogue landlords, the weight of the evidence suggests that Airbnb is contributing to the housing shortage in London and we join Mr Wright in calling on the mayor to take action.
“Other leading global cities have already recognised the scale of this problem.
“New York, San Francisco, Berlin, Brussels, Amsterdam, Paris, Barcelona are all now taking action to ensure the proper regulation of this new part of the economy and that the economic benefits are not outweighed by social dislocation and other negative impacts.”
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