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Hostmaker, Airbnb and the 90 Day Rule

View from Jessica's home in London of Canary Wharf
  • Airbnb now limits the availability of ‘entire home’ listings in the Greater London area to 90 nights per calendar year

  • This is to comply with new laws enacted in 2015 to help hosts legally rent their home out to guests, as well as regulate the sharing economy

  • Hostmaker’s expertise and experience in the market will help hosts put their home to work legally, safely, and profitably

If you are living in London and thinking about opening your home to guests on Airbnb, you have no doubt heard the phrase ‘90 Day Rule’. Whether you are well-versed in the legislature and processes behind this regulation, or are unsure exactly what it entails, the ‘90 Day Rule’ can sound scary and limiting to first-time hosts.

At Hostmaker, we are experts in the shortletting field, managing hundreds of homes for our hosts in our home city of London. We know the industry, and the city, like the back of our hands (or, wings). Therefore, we can say with authority that the ‘90 Day Rule’ is nothing to be trepidatious about – in fact, we believe that it presents hosts with new opportunities to welcome guests.

What is the 90 day rule?

Starting in January 2017, Airbnb now automatically limits the availability of ‘entire home’ listings in the Greater London area to 90 nights per calendar year. Simply put, if you live in London and put up your whole home on Airbnb, you are allowed to have guests stay for a maximum of 90 nights a year – Airbnb even has a handy ‘nights booked’ counter so that you can see how many nights you have left. Once you have reached your limit, Airbnb will automatically close your calendar for the rest of the dates in that year, and guests will not be able to stay in your home unless their booking dates fall within the next calendar year.

Why has this come about?

Restrictions on short-term lets in London have in fact been around since the 1970’s. Homeowners letting their home for a period less than 90 days used to require specific planning consent from their local councils. However, as platforms such as Airbnb grew in popularity, and with them brought a whole host of benefits for the city, for visiting guests and for its homeowners. This meant that there was a high demand for a service that was unfortunately in breach of the then-current (and slightly outdated!) regulatory laws in place. As a result, the government decided to embrace homesharing (hooray!), and in May 2015 brought in the Deregulation Act.

The Deregulation Act allows homeowners in London to rent their home to guests on a short-term basis for up to 90 days in one calendar year – all without having to change their planning permission. If a homeowner wishes to rent their home using shortlets for more than 90 days, they must now apply for the relevant planning permission.

Previously, Airbnb had not put in measures to ensure that London hosts had been following these regulations, leaving the responsibility in the hands of the hosts. However in late 2016, after a 6-month long process (in collaboration with experts and partners across the city), Airbnb announced their measures to make sure that hosts on Airbnb were operating in accordance to the new legislation. Hence, the 90 day limit.

For more information on the Deregulation Act and why Airbnb has applied this 90 day rule, see here.

How can Hostmaker help me continue hosting?

At Hostmaker, we’re taking concrete steps to help our hosts continue to welcome guests into their homes, whilst complying to the rules and regulations set out for us by Airbnb and the city of London. We believe that only this way will we be able to contribute to the positive, ongoing growth of the sharing economy and the online shortletting community.

As experts in the field we know that one booking that is over 90 days no longer qualifies as short-lets, therefore allowing you to rent your home to guests without limitations or special planning permission. Hostmaker has built partnerships with platforms – notably Rent My Home and OpenRent – that allow for us to push your home’s listing onto traditional longer let sites such as Zoopla and RightMove. As a result, we have a track record of acquiring these longer bookings for our hosts. Using the data from our past efforts, we are therefore able to competitively price your home according to demand and supply for medium-term lets. Hostmaker is also registered with the deposit protection agency, meaning we can safely take deposits for your home from a variety of platforms.

In short: our expertise will help you keep within the lines, protect your home, and fill up your pockets at the same time. So why not let Hostmaker help you put your home to work?

Contact Hostmaker today at london@hostmaker.co

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