The FT are right to highlight the tax advantage to Airbnb rent properties in your in comparison to Hotels in your editorial of the 4th January 2017 (Airbnb is a boon to consumers and needs no special treatment ) but as residential properties are being let out as holiday homes on a near-industrial scale, changing the historic make-up of central London neighbourhoods, we see settled community being replaced by an endless stream of people with suitcases coming and going. You only need go to Churchill Estate in Pimlico.
So its important that London Councils regulate Airbnb properties better along the lines adopted by City of Westminster council with sub-letting generally on developments like West End Quay which happened before emergence of Airbnb as Councils already have regulatory powers on lets under 90 days, to make for a level playing field in comparison to hotels.
But in the above example the responsibility solely falls on the rentier and their agents when the owners of the flats clearly have some responsibilities. If you are renting out your home as a business, surely you should have to pay business rates and have a health & safety certificate as well to cover responsibilities of making facilities accessible and risk free from fires?
So let’s see London Councils use their regulatory powers like City of Westminster has with rentiers of properties of less than 90 days apply their powers to the owners of the properties as well, making for a level playing field for hotels competing for the same market. Quite honestly that is more likely to happen sooner than any tax reforms!!!