At the most basic level, Airbnb is legal all over the UK, including in London. However, that doesn’t mean it is not constrained by different laws that have been put into place. London is set apart from the other parts of the UK due to the lack of housing and the high population density. This means that while in other parts of the country there is room for Landlords to turn their properties into Airbnb short term rentals, in London Airbnb short term lets can often be detrimental to London, by causing a decrease in number of available long-term rentals, making it increasingly difficult for working class people in London to find affordable housing.
What does the law say about renting out your home on Airbnb in London?
It is important to note that while Airbnb states that it “verifies personal profiles”, it is nearly impossible for the site to accurately vet every single person that goes through their website. While hosts can write reviews for their guests and vice versa, it is hard to gauge the trustworthiness of a guest, particularly if they are first timer on the site.
Before 2015, the short-term lettings market in London was heavily regulated by the Government, which means that without having planning permission from the Government, homeowners in London would have been unable to legally rent out their property on Airbnb for short term lets. However in 2015, the UK parliament passed a new law, s.44 of the Deregulation Act 2015 that relaxed previous constraints against short-term rentals in London. The law states that residential premises may be used for short term Airbnb style rentals, so long as it is for a term that doesn’t exceed 90 days a year and with the requirement that the homeowner continues to pay the Council Tax.
After this law was passed, there was a major rise in the number of Airbnb rentals in London due to Airbnb being much more lucrative than standard long-term tenancy contracts.
However it was also found that in London in 2016, 23% of Airbnb London listings were rented out for more than 90 days continuous days, therefore breaking the law. In response Airbnb put into place an automatic ban on listings in London that exceeded 90 days a year in order to ensure that Airbnb hosts were acting in line with the law. Therefore anyone who wants to rent out their home through Airbnb will have no choice but to comply with the law.
It is legal to rent out your home on Airbnb as a host in London, provided that it is a temporary rental that is not rented out for more than 90 days a year.
If you need legal advice about Airbnb or Property law you can speak to a Solicitor online on Talk2Solicitors.co.uk to get the legal advice that you need.