A House of Commons committee has heard that since up to 40% of all home-exchange website listings are run by professional landlords, and the top 1000 home-exchange hosts are netting £150m of accommodation revenue annually, Airbnb is allowing professional landlords to operate what are effectively “hotels in all but name” – but without adhering to UK tax, food, health and fire-safety regulations.

Of course the sharing economy also doesn’t offer customers the security of industry quality standards such as Hotel ratings or ASAP’s Quality Assessment programme for Serviced Apartments.

The committee heard that the BHA proposed the introduction of regulations that home exchange websites should adhere to, including the sharing of data, how much tax is due on income, staff numbers, restrictions on long stays and strict safety checks.

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