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06 August 2019

Have agencies hijacked Airbnb to make huge profits?

An investigation into Airbnb by The Sunday Times has revealed that hosts with multiple listings now dominate, with blocks of flats and whole streets in the UK’s biggest cities becoming de facto hotels. Analysis has shown that the majority of Airbnb’s active UK listings are entire flats and houses rather than private rooms. In London, nearly one in five properties on Airbnb are let by someone with 10 or more listings.

Other issues have also arisen where increasingly, hosts do not own the spaces they profit from and letting agents have complained about tenants subletting multiple properties on the website without informing their landlords.

Hema Anand, partner in BDB Pitmans’ residential property team, comments in The Sunday Times that she has encountered a growing number of landlords seeking advice on how to evict subletting tenants. Hema comments:

‘We also have clients who have sublet with the landlord’s consent, then found [the property] on Airbnb. Airbnb guests are subletting on Airbnb — it’s just an endless chain.’

The full article is available to subscribers of The Sunday Times, here.

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