UKHospitality calls for sharing economy equality

UKHospitality has called on the Mayor of London to ensure fairness and transparency regarding the short-term letting of homes and welcomed the Mayor’s recognition that legislation may be required to provide security to customers.

The Mayor of London has published the London Housing Strategy highlighting potential abuse of short-term lets and a failure to enforce the 90-day rule.

UKHospitality Chief Executive Kate Nicholls said: “The home-sharing sector has been lauded by politicians recently as an example of ingenuity. We are, however, concerned that it is being exploited contrary to the spirit in which it was established; and in a way which puts it at an unfair competitive advantage against other accommodation providers.

“The Mayor’s report highlights that abuse of short-term lets may have a negative impact on communities and that currently there is no effective way to enforce the 90-day rule. With housing at a premium, particularly in the capital, the use of multiple lets by unscrupulous landlords acting as businesses can surely not be tolerated.

“Flagrant breaking of the rules by landlords to act as a business means that they can avoid the legislative and tax pressures that other accommodation providers must adhere to. Not only does this give them an unfair competitive edge, it puts the safety and security of customers at risk.

“The Mayor’s own report acknowledges there are flaws in the current set-up, so action must be taken to provide transparency and fairness for businesses. We are not calling for the prohibition of the sharing economy, only that it be subject to the same rules and regulations as the hospitality sector.”

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