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Airbnb to crack down on ‘unwelcome’ commercial operators in London

Airbnb has announced it is to crack down on London users who ignore the 90-day legal limit in a bid to remove “unwelcome commercial operators”.

The home-lettings platform said it will introduce automated limits by spring 2017, to ensure users will only be able to share entire home listings for more than 90 days per year if they confirm they have the required permission to share their space more frequently.

A typical Airbnb host in London earns £3,500 by sharing their space for 50 nights a year, with the company claiming its community generated an economic impact of more than £1.3bn in London last year.

However, concerns have been raised around Airbnb’s impact on the UK hospitality industry, including its increasing share of the accommodations market and so-called ‘illegal hotels’ where users are effectively running unregulated hotel businesses.

A statement from Airbnb read: “We firmly believe this step will help build a better London for everyone and work is already underway to implement these measures, which will be in place by spring 2017.

“We want to be good partners to London and continue to lead our industry on this matter, and ensure home sharing grows responsibly and sustainably.”

Commenting on the announcement, Ufi Ibrahim, chief executive of the BHA, said: “We have been calling on the government to enforce regulatory controls on home-sharing platforms and while this move by Airbnb is welcome it is important that all home-sharing platforms are similarly regulated.”

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