London residents will soon be able to enter the so-called "sharing economy", under changes to the law allowing them to use websites such as Airbnb without the fear of a £20,000 fine.
In the rest of the country, residents are able to let out their homes for short periods. But in London, under Section 25 of the Greater London Council (General Powers) Act 1973, planning permission is required.
Thousands of Londoners currently using sites such Airbnb, Onefinestay and Gumtree could face a £20,000 fine.
The change will enable Londoners to "participate in the sharing economy" and benefit from "recent innovations in information technology by letting out either a spare room or their whole house in the same way as other residents across the country," said the government.
Under the changes, short-term letting of homes will be restricted to a maximum 90 days a year to prevent properties from being short-let on a permanent basis throughout the year.
Housing Minister Brandon Lewis said: "We live in the 21st century, and London homeowners should be able to rent out their home for a short period without having to pay for a council permit. These laws date from the long-gone era of the [Greater London Council], and need to be updated for the internet age."
The changes follow a consultation last year and will be introduced in the Deregulation Bill currently before Parliament.
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