Pressure from Kensington and Chelsea Council has led to change in policy from accommodation website Airbnb.

It has announced its systems will automatically limit the listing of whole flats and houses in Greater London to 90 nights a year, which means hosts now have to confirm they have the required planning permission to rent their property more frequently.

The move comes after it became apparent that many Airbnb users do not abide with the law which prohibits landlords letting their homes on short-term lets for more than 90 days without planning permission.

Many councils, including Kensington and Chelsea, argued Airbnb should tackle the problem rather leaving local authorities to undertake costly retrospective enforcement operations against those who were breaching the rules.

Councillor Tim Coleridge, the head of planning policy at the Royal borough, said: “I am very pleased that Airbnb has agreed to put measures in place that will automatically limit the listing of whole flats and houses in Greater London to 90 nights a year.

“It was certainly our belief that allowing rentals of more than 90 days was exacerbating London’s housing crisis due to large numbers of properties effectively being removed from the longer-term rental market, making it both more expensive and difficult to find this type of property.”

Last year a woman who let her Fulham property out on New Year's Eve came home to find it trashed.

Video thumbnail, Hammersmith police Station
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Christina McQuillan’s flat in Fulham was left in a state after the tenant who hired it through the accommodation website threw a party for 100 people.

She returned to her home in Buer Road shortly before midnight to find it rammed with revellers and a couple having sex in the bedroom while a crowd watched.

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