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Airbnb’s 90-day limit in London: how to play by the rules

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If you run an Airbnb business in the Greater London area, chances are you will be aware of the 90-day rule. If not, you need to be, as it has the potential to impact your short stay rental. Here’s our basic guide about the 90-day annual limit in London.

New Airbnb rule

In January 2017, new Airbnb rules were introduced for hosts in the Greater London area that involved setting automatic limits for entire home listings to 90 nights per calendar year.

Unless you are able to confirm that you have the required permission to share your space more frequently or for a longer period of time – Airbnb now restricts the number of occupied nights per year to 90. What happens when you reach that limit? The platform automatically closes your property’s booking capacity until the end of the calendar year. Whether the occupied days are spread out over several months or in 90 consecutive days does not matter – the limit still applies.

Currently, this rule only relates to properties in the Greater London area although there is discussion of extending it to other major cities. Property owners who ignore the rule can risk fines of up to £20,000.

Where did the 90-day rule come from?

Prior to the rule being implemented, London hosts were technically required to apply for planning permission in order to rent out their apartment or homes for short or vacation lets.

Recognising the global vacation rental movement and the economic benefits it could bring to a city like London, deregulation was put in place to relax the rules. It stipulated that short-term rentals were allowed – for up to 90 days. Airbnb introduced a feature on their platform to enforce the rule in early 2017.

What are your options?

There are a few options that you can choose to work within the rules.

The first is renting your Airbnb as a short-term let on the platform and then, once you have reached the 90-day limit, listing it as a ‘90+ days’ longer-term rental. Airbnb will not take your listing down and by doing things this way you will be fully compliant with the local regulations for the Greater London area.

The downside of this option is that it can be harder to find guests who want to lock in a stay of more than 90 days and, if they do, they will usually want a significant discount.

Alternatively, you could turn your property into an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) which is the traditional way to rent out a place and therefore avoids any legal issues or fines. This will provide you with a guaranteed regular income but as a landlord, you will have less access to your property once your tenant moves in and less flexibility as an owner.

Moving forward

STAA Accredited

GuestReady works with hundreds of hosts across London to make sure they can achieve the best results for their Airbnb whilst complying with local regulations. GuestReady is STAA accredited, ensuring consumer protection and that properties are fit for purpose.

We help hosts optimise their earnings and letting cycle by listing their property on multiple platforms during peak times in order to maximise earnings in the high season.

There are many ways we can help you get the most out of your Airbnb listing in London so be sure to contact our team today!

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