This site and may others similar have been a phenomenalism globally bringing in more affordable ways to travel and the opportunity to stay in the heart of the cities of the world for a fraction of the cost of hotels.
But at what cost to local communities? The explosion in London over recent years has been felt by many and estimates suggest that over 40,000 homes in London are listing on the site, in the region of 10,000 are failing to comply with the 90 day rule imposed by government. While these unofficial hotels may well offer cheaper accommodation and indeed a number of tourists to London at what cost to Londoners?
We as a company have never engaged in this practise and always advised clients against this route for a variety of reasons beyond the 90 day rule. Principally we do not feel it’s fair that genuine tenants and property owners should be subjected to living next to a hotel where little to no checks are carried out for the guests, of course in many cases a lovely family may well be visiting but there are also a number of documented cases of stag and hen parties, travelling escorts and other antisocial behaviour that is not fair or reasonable to expect other residents who are paying big rents or mortgages to put up with.
Most blocks also prohibit the practise, so if you are doing it you would be well served to check your lease, also while checking your lease you should also check your building insurance, would you be covered in the event of fire or flood? In many cases you will not be.
The meteoric rise of the increase in accommodation offered is well documented and with the housing crisis at long last and under pressure from local councils in London Air b and b has cracked and stated that it will enforce the 90 day rule and stop hosts lettings there property for more than 90 days unless they have a license.
Granted I am sure those who currently flout the rules will use other similar sites to continue to do so but I foresee a number of hosts will not bother and will either sell or put the properties back to the rental market. I for one hope that London follows Berlin, San Francisco and New York in imposing fines on those who continue to offend, London does need tourism and this growing phenomenon has undoubtedly brought in tourists but has driven up rents and in some cases capital values for ordinary Londoners and has pushed a number of hotels to the brink of closure.
If you currently engage in holiday lets do give us, Greater London Properties a call on 0207 113 1066 to discuss the best way forward for your property I firmly believe more stringent regulations are on the way and you may be better served putting the property to the market before the 10,000 other hosts do.
Rob Hill MBA
Greater London Properties