The launch of a UK government review into short-term lets is an opportunity to secure clear and modern rules that unlock the benefits of hosting for everyday families and clamp down on speculators, while giving local authorities the information and tools they need to regulate home sharing effectively.
Airbnb recognises the historic housing and tourism challenges facing the UK and we want our platform to be part of the solution. We welcome regulation and have led the way in championing progressive rules for our industry.
Airbnb first put forward proposals for a UK Host Register last year, following a UK-wide consultation with communities, local leaders and tourism experts. The UK government committed to seeking views on this initiative as part of its Tourism Recovery Plan and we welcome today’s announcement as progress on that pledge.
Airbnb has a long history of supporting regulation in the UK and was the first platform in London to automatically limit how often hosts in London can share their homes, with the Mayor of London calling for other platforms to follow our lead. We are also proud to lead our industry on tackling anti-social behaviour and just this week have officially codified our global ban on parties.
To be effective and as we move forward, policymaking must acknowledge that not all forms of tourism are created equal and not all accommodation providers are the same. There is a big difference between buy-to-let speculators and Hosts who occasionally share their homes on Airbnb to afford the rising cost of living. People who Host in their home represent a category of accommodation providers who differ fundamentally from both property speculators and hotels, and rules should be proportionate to the activity provided.
Today, thousands of families across the far corners of the UK share their homes to boost their income. In doing so, they help decentralise tourism and spread its benefits beyond hotels and traditional hotspots, while empowering local families and communities to keep the economics generated by tourism for themselves.
The typical UK Host on Airbnb earns just over £6,000 – equivalent to two months additional pay for the median UK household. The typical entire home listing is rented for around just two days a month, four in five UK Hosts share only one listing, and around a third say the additional income helps them afford the rising cost of living and make ends meet. One in five work in either education, healthcare or hospitality. Nearly two-thirds are women, and one in five are over 60.
As well as providing additional income to families across the UK, nearly half of guests say booking on Airbnb saved them money. A quarter of guests say they chose Airbnb over other types of accommodation specifically to save money.
As everyone works together to tackle the most challenging economic crisis since The Great Recession, we should look to make it easier — not harder — for regular people to use their homes — typically their greatest expense — to flexibly boost their income while diversifying tourism.
Airbnb looks forward to supporting the UK government’s review and to working together with everyone on rules that unlock the benefits of hosting for regular people while clamping down on speculators and big businesses that drive housing concerns and overtourism.