Sadiq Khan demands licensing powers to clamp down on short-term lets

Sadiq Khan demands licensing powers to clamp down on short-term lets

9:30 AM, 20th July 2023, About 11 months ago 18

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The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, is demanding that he be handed powers to tackle London’s rented home supply which is being ‘decimated’ by short-term lets.

Fuelled by the likes of Airbnb, the capital has seen an explosion in short-term lets in recent years.

Figures show that there were 81,272 properties on the Airbnb platform this month for rent – of which 50,401 were entire homes.

The mayor says that one in every 74 London homes is now up for short-term let.

‘Lack of regulation in the short-term letting market’

Mr Khan said: “I am doing all I can to tackle the housing crisis in London, but these efforts will continue to be hampered by the lack of regulation in the short-term letting market.

“Short-term lets play an important role in London’s tourism industry, but that mustn’t come at the expense of Londoners who need a place to live.

“We need transparency about how many properties are being rented out for longer than the rules permit, and accountability to local authorities and residents.”

He added: “This is why I’m calling on the Government to work with me and borough councils to design a licencing system to bring some order to this rapidly growing sector and prevent us losing yet more homes for Londoners to the short-term let sector.”

Enable local authorities to restrict short-term let numbers

Mr Khan believes that the implementation of a licensing system for short-term lets would enable local authorities to restrict short-term let numbers by issuing licenses in their area.

This would ‘avoid entire streets or blocks being turned over exclusively to short-term lets’.

The mayor points to one Westminster residential block in Westminster which has more than 90% of its 118 units available on short-term letting platforms.

And while homeowners are entitled to rent out their homes for up to 90 days a year, the mayor believes that many property owners are breaching this restriction – and boroughs do not have the resources to monitor compliance.

Licensing system would create a ‘financial reward’

Mr Khan also highlights that a licensing system would create a ‘financial reward’ for councils who have seen budgets slashed in recent years.

The mayor is now urging Government Ministers to back his call for new legislation that would compel short-term letting platforms to share data with local and national government.

This would allow decision makers to better understand how the sector is impacting the housing supply and residents.

If implemented, a short-term letting licensing scheme would be following in the footsteps of Barcelona, Amsterdam and Paris.

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Paul Banton-Forbes

9:48 AM, 20th July 2023, About 11 months ago

It’s amazing the Osborne Tax is responsible for the explosion in short term let’s as we can offset our finance costs… otherwise landlords lose to much money.. why don’t they focus on the truth

Reluctant Landlord

11:10 AM, 20th July 2023, About 11 months ago

will someone use better quality nails please when shutting him in the box this time...

Richard Whybrow

11:23 AM, 20th July 2023, About 11 months ago

Yet another tax by the man to lazy to look for other ways to come up with raising funds for London (maybe i should apply for his job seems quite easy just sitting behind a desk taxing everything and everyone )


11:34 AM, 20th July 2023, About 11 months ago

As a landlord I AGREE that short term lets should be more regulated (don't quite know how though) as AirBnB has decimated some areas of the country


12:28 PM, 20th July 2023, About 11 months ago

FHL have grown because of this governments policy towards landlords,with section 24 ,mtg relief and eviction process for bad tenants.As for the mayor he is just that ,and should not think he can have powers above his station.The man is out of control and needs to be told his job and place in the pecking order of command.

Mr Asif

12:49 PM, 20th July 2023, About 11 months ago

Rather than building more homes ,he is making unnecessary rules to make life harder. Waste of time

Lee Bailey

13:15 PM, 20th July 2023, About 11 months ago

It is Section 24 of the Finance act that forced many landlords to switch to short term lets. ENTIRELY the fault of government.

David Jones

13:27 PM, 20th July 2023, About 11 months ago

I thought the 90 day rule had killed airbnb in Lomdon ? surely not worth the hassle for just 90 days out of 365


14:09 PM, 20th July 2023, About 11 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Lee Bailey at 20/07/2023 - 13:15
Yes too much meddling by the Government wrapping us all up in red tape, section 24 and worse to come with the loss of section 21.
I am sure that Mr Khan will have more brilliant ideas to solve the homelessness problem which will no doubt turn the spotlight away from him.


14:25 PM, 20th July 2023, About 11 months ago

This is the guy who asked London's council taxpayers for an additional 10% to fund his organisation this year.

Then he tied to cut many bus routes, while making it unaffordable to drive in the new ULEZ.

I live in central London and have seen how the growth of short lets has forced budget and mid-priced local hotels to refurbish and raise their standards, after decades of under-investment (and under inspection). I'm not saying there are no bad actors operating FHL, but most of the R2R and other poorly capitalised operators were forced out by pandemic rush to the coast and country.

Look, I'm all for ensuring safe properties, whether long or short term lets but he must have been fast asleep earlier this year as the government has already held TWO consultations on FHL. That's without considering the scope that the coming property portal will provide licencing authorities. (Yes, it's in development, despite the RRB only having 1st reading and no involvement of LL representatives in agreeing the requirements.)

Without some FHL in my portfolio,
S24 + BoE %nterest would = €xit the sector for $afer, more pro£itable investments

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