The problem with Airbnb is its success! When it first began it was a beautiful simple idea for people to go to another place and share a room in a local person’s home and that was it. There was a mutuality about it so if you built up a good reputation you could stay in other cites just as people came to stay in your city in your home.

Now it is big business and it is destroying communities and making city centre renting unaffordable for local people. Who wants to live in an apartment where every day/weekend visitors are dragging their suitcases into your building and then having a raucous time as they enjoy their ability to stay cheaply in your city? What will happen to the vital hotel industry and the jobs that are required in the visitor economy hospitality sector?

Already other cities are rising up and demanding that Airbnb be curtailed as it is negativley affecting residents enjoyment of their own home city. Most landlords who own city centre properties are deciding that they can make so much more money renting out their apartment as a short-term let (Airbnb or otherwise) rather than renting it to a family or a single person for 12months or more.

Many years ago now Engage persuaded the City Council to pass a resolution that it was the policy in Liverpool not to allow short-term lets in residential apartment blocks. It worked well for years but now it seems no-one  remembers that decision as another councillor has raised the issue once again. As a result of this decision we had a number of apart-hotels springing up where everyone was renting an apartment in the same block and not renting alongside long-term residents who often needed to get an early night for an early rise to get to work.

This is one of the drawbacks caused by Liverpool’s tourism boom. Edinburgh’s citizens have had enough and are now organising to reverse the tourism-impacted rental market in their city read HERE for an article in the Guardian 04.01.20 and also HERE for the website of CITIZEN. We need to address it before it gets to the level it has in other places causing serious disquiet to the locals.

Though Engage has no remit beyond the city centre it is also in the close-by suburbs that this is fast becoming a major cause of concern. Houses that would otherwise be going to families are now being offered as Airbnb rental opportunities and they are marketed as bringing in extraordinary returns for investors which couldn’t possibly be reached by any other means. Some statistics you might find helpful (taken from the articles below): there are no less than 1,598 properties listed on Airbnb in Liverpool; the average DAILY rate of these properties is £145; the average occupancy rate is 48% (which means that HALF THE TIME these houses have no one in them); the average earning potential is £26,500 a year (for one house: that’s £2205 a month). The postcodes with highest yields in Liverpool are L4, L6, L7. What chance do you have as a Scouse family or person wanting to rent in some of the poorest parts of our city when properties are on the market with these rental options?

If this concerns you then you need to read the links below from Portico – the website for landlords and investors that is pushing the Liverpool rental market:

Portico: Investment opportunities in Liverpool HERE 13.11.19

Portico: Investment Property Tips 2019-2020 HERE 11.11.19

Portico: Best yields for short-term lets are found in Liverpool HERE 13.08.19

Portico: The Booming Liverpool Airbnb market statistics and predictions HERE 18.06.19

You can read more below:

The Guardian: ‘I’m a stranger in my own city’: Prague takes on Airbnb to dam flood of tourists HERE 01.02.20 Robert Tait

The Guardian: Airbnb faces backlash in Toronto & Paris HERE 19.11.19 Leyland Cecco/Kim Willsher

Place North West: Liverpool considers restrictions on Airbnbs HERE 12.11.19 Charlie Schouten