The British Hospitality Association (BHA) has repeated its call for greater transparency on sharing websites such as Airbnb, alleging that it encourages what it calls "illegal hotels" and professional landlords.
pictured) suggested that rooms and properties for rent via sharing economy websites put the UK's reputation for hospitality at risk.
The BHA has maintained that by using sharing economy websites, hosts can escape the legal regulations on tax and health and safety normally adhered to by hotels and landlords. It also criticised the sharing economy platforms for its alleged lack of data available on the number of hosts that are operating multiple properties for rent.
A BHA spokesperson said: "The BHA is calling for greater transparency of these intermediary websites, regulation and enforcement of health and safety and food standards, as well as compliance with the maximum 90 days a year letting allowed in London without planning permission."
They added: "'Sharing' has become big business with 'hosts' acting as 'landlords' in all but name. The difference between rents charged for long-term compared to short-term lets is extremely high, creating strong economic incentives for short-term letting. Single owners in London let multiple properties and are able to operate with minimal overheads by avoiding health and safety, food safety and planning regulations."
The comment comes just weeks after Ibrahim said home-exchange websites could present "a danger to the public" during a House of Commons committee on the issue. Last week, the BHA told The Caterer: "The BHA champions better standards across the tourism industry and celebrates customers having a wide choice of places to stay. However, customers should receive the same basic health and safety protection in home-sharing venues as they would receive elsewhere in the industry."
However, Airbnb hit back at the time, saying that the BHA's comments were "baseless and inconsistent with the facts", and added: "Hospitality is a large, growing market. There is enough room for everyone and we strongly believe we are helping more people to travel, which is good news for everyone."