A rising number of landlords are trying to disregard their legal obligations of renting a property by advertising their investment as a holiday let.
The Residential Landlords Association (RLA)claims that nearly two-thirds of the total number of listings on Airbnb in London are for lets of 90 days or more. This, the Association claims, could be breaking the law, which states that lets on a short-term basis cannot exceed 90 days per calendar year.
Research from the RLA has found that 65% of the total number of listings on Airbnb in London are available for 90 days per year.
Nearly 7,000 homes or flats are multi-listings where hosts have in excess of one listing. Of these, 78% are available for more than 90 days per year.
The RLA is concerned that a number of buy-to-let landlords are avoiding giving tenants security, by advertising longer lets on holiday home websites. As such, tenants’ deposits are not being secured and safety standards are not being met.
In addition, the RLA is also concerned that tenants could be using these websites in order to advertise rooms for sub-letting, without the consent of their existing landlord. A recent survey of RLA members found that 15% of landlords have seen tenants advertise a property or room on these kind of sites without permission.
This concern is underlined by potential problems in adhering to the Right To Rent scheme. Landlords who do not grant consent will not have checked the eligibility of their new inhabitant, which could land them in extremely hot water.
Landlords using holiday letting sites to disregard obligations
Now, the RLA has called for an urgent review into these types of actions, from both the Government and the new major of London, Sadiq Khan.
Alan Ward, chairman of the RLA, said, ‘the growing popularity of holiday letting sites such as Airbnb raises serious questions about their potential for abuse. Ministers must act to clamp down on those property owners using the website to deny tenants safe, legal and secure accommodation. Landlords also need support to address illegal sub-letting of properties by their tenants.’