New Laws for Airbnb Lets

Date Published 23 February 2024

Housing Secretary Michael Gove is set to impose new laws to restrict Airbnb-style short lets. The aim of these laws is to bring communities back together and let them have more authority in how they want their areas to grow. This falls under part of the Levelling Up proposals which was mentioned in the initial idea of the Renters Reform Bill.

The new law would require hosts letting out their properties as short-term holiday homes to seek permission from the local authority under a ‘use' category. Prospective Airbnb owners would need to apply for planning permission and join a national register. The proposal states that the rules would not apply to people renting out their main home for 90 days or less in a year. A mandatory national register would be set up providing councils with information on short-term lets in their area.

Ben Twomey, Chief Executive of Generation Rent claims that over 35,000 homes have become holiday homes or short term lets since 2019 and this has been driving up rents and forcing people out of their communities. Michael Gove added to this and said: 'In some areas, too many local families and young people feel they are being shut out of the housing market and denied the opportunity to rent or buy in their own community.'

Amanda Cupples, Airbnb general manager for northern Europe, said: 'The introduction of a short-term let's register is good news for everyone. Families who host on Airbnb will benefit from clear rules that support their activity, and local authorities will get access to the information they need to assess and manage housing impacts and keep communities healthy, where necessary. We have long led calls for the introduction of a host register and we look forward to working together to make it a success."

In 2023 the UK recorded an average Airbnb occupancy rate of 23.8%. Some of the main cities with the most active Airbnb's were London with 15.2% occupancy rate, Edinburgh with 24.8%, Glasgow 23.6%, Manchester 23.2% and Bristol 32.1%.