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In January 2017, Airbnb introduced a 90-day limit on ‘entire home’ listings in the Greater London area now commonly known as the '90-Day Airbnb Rule'. This means a property can’t be let out on Airbnb for more than 90 days of occupied nights per year. Once your limit has been reached, Airbnb will automatically close bookings for your property until the end of the calendar year. The 90-day limit applies to both 90 consecutive days or 90 days spread throughout the year.
The 90-day Airbnb rule relates just to Greater London. No other city in the UK currently has such a limit in place, but it is an ongoing discussion.
The 90-day Airbnb rule was implemented to legalise short lets in London - before this rule was in place, technically homeowners needed to apply for planning permission to conduct short or holiday lets in their home. This is because of the Greater London Council (General Powers) Act 1973, which implemented a London-specific rule that meant it was not possible to conduct any short lets (any single stay of less than 90 days in duration) in the Greater London area.
Since then, a thriving, global home-sharing industry has emerged through such websites as Airbnb. In recognition of the benefits that the home-sharing industry brings to homeowners, guests and local economies the Deregulation Act 2015, was brought in to relax these rules. Now, homeowners are able to rent out their properties short term for up to 90 nights a year without requiring planning consent from the local council.
Some people think that limiting the number of days that a property can be “short-let” for is a good thing because it gives councils and communities a sense of control over what’s happening in the area. People are also concerned about the impact short letting has on housing supply. This is a lively debate, but the Institute for Public Policy Research has published research that shows it has little impact.
Other people say that the number of days a property is short-let for should not be limited because that is unfair on homeowners that are away from their property more often than that, and that it’s more important to focus on responsible hosting - ensuring that guests are compliant with rules and respectful of communities etc. This is also a lively debate.
Tom Jones, Co-Founder at Houst explains "We’re pro regulation - we believe that control and visibility for a community is important. We do feel that 90 days is perhaps a little restrictive - other global cities, like Paris set the threshold at 120 days. Most of our hosts are away from their homes for longer than 90 days but can’t put the properties on the residential market because they need to come and go regularly, or because the total availability is unclear - i.e if they are waiting for the property to sell. We believe that as long as the hosting is done responsibly, the benefits to the community far outweigh any downside, so that’s what we focus on."
Houst is committed to providing an innovative, responsible and sustainable approach to home sharing. As experts in our field, we recognise the importance of complying with the regulations in each city where we operate – including London.
To help property owners in London manage the Airbnb 90-day Rule and whilst maximising their earnings, we optimise the letting cycle by using a combination of long term, short term and holiday lets. We list on multiple platforms to help our hosts make the most of their properties.
This includes holiday lets on Airbnb, Expedia and Booking.com during peak times to maximise earnings in the high season, combined with longer lets through Zoopla or Rightmove for extended periods of 3 or 6 months during quieter periods. We also find long term tenants on classic AST contracts. This provides the ideal solution for hosts looking to rent out their home for longer than 90 days and that want to maximise returns across a year, while complying with the necessary rules and regulations.
Optimising the letting cycle in this way allows hosts to earn more money than traditional long term letting, because it means that they’re able to, fill void periods and take advantage of higher rate holiday lets during the peak seasons.
It's important to be aware and compliant when in comes to 90-day limit, but regulation is a good thing and there is still a lot of opportunity to capitalise through diversification of letting types. This fusion of letting types can be tailored to the hosts requirements of the property and our team will build and manage a cycle that works best for that home.
There is no way to avoid or bypass the 90-day limit for Airbnb in London. This is a good thing - it helps ensure Airbnb and short-let rentals are sustainable in the city. Minimising disruption while maximising the benefit of the tourism industry is key.
As described above, you are able to rent out during the rest of the year on other platforms and with other types of letting - medium and long-term. This is a strategy Houst can help with – our platform integrates multiple booking websites to give you a consolidated view of your calendar and optimise between the different booking websites while staying within regulation. For example, you can Airbnb your property during the summer and rent into corporate or longer-term travellers for the rest of the year.
With global travel booming again and more and more people working remotely from different locations, there is a high demand for longer-term rentals from individuals wanting to join communities for 3-6 months at a time. Expats, location independent workers and digital nomads all fall into this new travel category.
**This article is intended to highlight just some of the key issues involved with home sharing. It should not be taken as formal advice. If unclear on regulation in your city, you should always read up on the relevant authority websites and/or seek professional advice.**
Houst was launched in London in 2015. Since then, our team has been helping homeowners and landlords across the capital increase their earnings while managing everything for them. We're now the world's largest Airbnb host management service.
Our highest earning host has a 3-Bed Apartment in Old Street with 94% occupancy!
To make the most of your property, we list on multiple booking platforms, maximising your income from a unique mix of short, medium and long-lettings all year round.
We have teams of professional cleaners, housekeepers and partners to turnaround laundry on-demand, and our London-based team writes your listings, takes photographs and offers expert advice on how to improve your property for business and holiday short-lets. Meanwhile, our pricing specialists are continuously working hard to optimise your occupancy and overall revenue.
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