In a recent video for my YouTube channel, I spoke about the speculation that AirBnB could be banned in the UK. The consultation by the UK government on potentially regulating short-stay accommodation has got a lot of people worried.
Listen, this is not a big deal! This is something that I predicted back in 2020! I said that they were going to regulate Airbnb and short-stay lets. However, I think it is important for me to cover this topic so that you know exactly what is happening.
I highly recommend that you watch the full video (above) as it contains important information about the government's plans for AirBnB regulation. In this article, I will summarise what is going on and my recommendations to current and prospective AirBnB hosts.
1. The Consultation And Pace Of Change
What's happening is the hotels and villagers of small towns, seaside towns particularly, are getting fed up with their next-door neighbours’ being rented out on short-stay lets, and they're complaining. And the government have said, “Look, we'll look into it” and they're consulting on whether potentially there needs to be some sort of regulation within short-stay lets.
I personally don't think much is going to change, certainly for a very long time. Just because it's in consultation with the government, that does not mean that there's going to be a change in the law. Even if a new law does come in, it will probably take months and months, maybe even years before it happens. This is because it will need time to go through the various stages of the House of Commons and the House of Lords, after which there is normally a delay before a law comes into force.
2. Lessons From History
Just because politicians say they are considering something doesn’t mean it will actually happen. Often, even when they say they are going to do something, they either delay it or change their minds completely.
Here’s a great example of that. In London, there is a 90-day rule. You can't rent your property out in London without planning permission if you're going to do it for more than 90 days a year. Edinburgh said, “Right, we're going to follow suit.” And they said, “In a year and a half's time, April 2023, we're going to bring in that same law.” And when it came to it, they actually didn't bring it in. And now they're saying, “maybe it's going to be in six months or so.”
3. Regulation Is Inevitable
That said, I do think that Airbnb and short-stay lets are going to get more regulated because at the moment, they're pretty much completely unregulated. You can rent out your shed in your garden on Airbnb. No tenant rights, no guest rights, no washing facilities. You can just stick it on Airbnb and rent it out. This can’t go on forever.
I predict they will probably start regulating specific hotspots and move on from there. So I would advise property investors to diversify the areas they are investing in and to ensure that any properties they buy could be profitable with other strategies. But I intend to continue to ‘make hay while the sun shines’ and I suggest everyone does the same!