The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) has highlighted a trend for landlords to take rented property off the open rental market and advertise it on Airbnb for short-term lets.
A report by The Residential Landlords Association showed that Airbnb listing in London have increased by 27% over the four-month period up to the beginning of September 2016, according to a Daily Telegraph article from that month. They claim that this increase is due to landlords moving their properties to the site.
Airbnb was initially set up to help people make money from spare rooms, but professional landlords investing in the buy-to-let market are increasingly using Airbnb for commercial purposes.
The RLA report authors stated:
“It is clear from the data that professionals are now taking over the market rather than those home owners looking to let out a spare bedroom.”
The Residential Landlords Association says that this trend could increase the housing shortage, especially in London. It could also create rent rises due to a shortage of available rented properties.
Airbnb disputed the findings of the RLA report, saying that it was “misleading research that deliberately confuses availability with nights booked.”
Landlords and homeowners who have a mortgage and are considering using Airbnb have been warned by the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) that many standard mortgage contracts have a clause banning letting. A CML spokesman said:
“Some lenders may allow some letting depending on the circumstances, but not to run a business. The rule generally applies to buy to lets as well as owner occupiers.”