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UK Airbnb hosts face registration to protect communities

Airbnb app is seen on a smartphone in this illustration taken, February 27, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic//File Photo
Airbnb app is seen on a smartphone in this illustration taken, February 27, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic//File Photo

Britain plans to change rules on short-term lets to protect local residents from being pushed out of their communities by excessive temporary accommodation, it said on Monday, with implications for platforms such as Airbnb (ABNB.O).

The government said it would give local councils greater power to control short-term lets by making them subject to the planning process, in addition to introducing a mandatory national host register.

The changes form part of a plan to prevent a “hollowing out” of communities, address anti-social behaviour and ensure local people can continue to live in their locality, the statement added.

Airbnb, which has grown rapidly since its founding in 2007, has drawn criticism from some users as well as hosts for not doing enough to ensure safety.

Cities including Amsterdam and London have capped the number of nights that premises can be let on short-let platforms to protect local communities.

Amanda Cupples, General Manager for Airbnb’s Northern Europe division, said the company had led calls for the introduction of a host register.

“Families who host on Airbnb will benefit from clear rules that support their activity, and local authorities will get access to the information they need to assess and manage housing impacts and keep communities healthy, where necessary,” she said.

The San Francisco-based company has over 5 million hosts across the world, its website says.

The planning changes and the register will not affect hotels, hostels or bed and Bed and Breakfasts (B&Bs), the government added.

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