The UK Government says it is giving a boost to London's sharing economy through more flexible legislation currently before Parliament.
The Department for Communities and Local Government has revealed plans to amend a 1973 law, forcing the Capital's homeowners to apply for planning permission before renting a property, or incur fines of up to £20,000.
The Government plans to amend the 1973 law through a Deregulation Bill to allow short-term lettings rentals London for up to 90 days per year.
The softening of the law follows a consultation with further details provided in a document 'Promoting the Sharing Economy in London.'
In the statement Housing minister Brandon Lewis says:
" These laws date from the long-gone era of the GLC, and need to be updated for the internet age.
"We are putting in some common sense measures to protect local amenity, whilst allowing Londoners who go on holiday to make a bit of extra money by renting out their home whilst they are away."
The plan is part of a wider Government initiative to tap into the sharing economy and comes on top of measures already put in place, such as initiatives encourage the sharing of car parking spaces.
Measures to prevent people from exploiting the new regulations are also being implemented including giving councils the power to withdraw the flexibility in short-term lettings.
The Promoting the Sharing Economy document acknowledges that new ways to conduct business have emerged because of the web. It says:
"It has made it much easier for people to rent out their property, allowing residents to supplement their incomes and offer new experiences for consumers. Last summer, nearly 5 million overseas visitors came to the Capital. Some of those visitors, as well as UK residents, want to experience London as a local. This means either staying with Londoners, or in their homes while they are away on holiday."
Back in September last year the Government announced a review of the sharing economy led by Love Home Swap boss Debbie Wosskow.
Results from the review include supporting startups in the sharing economy, examining legislation and standards of service from the sharing economy itself.
Further recommendations include an Innovation Lab for the sector as well as the creation of a trade body for the sharing economy.
NB: Sharing icon image via Shutterstock.