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London borough cracks down on short-term lets via Airbnb

Southwark says it is sending leaflets out to all its leaseholders and tenants warning that "homes are homes".

Nigel Lewis

southwark airbnbRenting out a property via Airbnb has become a useful source of income for tens of thousands of landlords in London, and several agents including Portico have branched out to service this new short term lets management market.

But one London borough is striking back after experiencing a deluge of Airbnb listings by its leaseholders and tenants.

Southwark has revealed that it saw a 139% increase in the number of homes rented via Airbnb since the Deregulation Act 2015 loosened the rules for short-term lets of up to 90 days.

Before the new regulations were introduced, leaseholders in London had to seek planning permission before being able to rent their properties out via home ‘sharing’ websites such as Airbnb.

Now, Southwark says it is to clamp down on its leaseholders and tenants who advertise their properties on Airbnb.

Beach of conditions

Leaflets are being sent to both groups to remind them that “renting out their homes on any short-term holiday let website breaches the conditions of their lease and could result in legal action”, it says.

People who have purcahsed properties from Southwark via Right to Buy are being reminded that their leaseholds stipulate that their homes should not be “used for any purpose other than as a private dwelling house”.

stephanie cryan soutwark airbnb“We are aware that a growing number of leaseholders are letting their properties, on a short-term basis, through platforms including but not exclusive to Airbnb, Housetrip and Gumtree,” says Councillor Stephanie Cryan (pictured, left)

“As far as we are concerned our homes are homes, not hotels. We want people in our council homes and on our council estates who are a part of the community, not visitors passing through.

“In addition, noise nuisance, over-occupation and damage to communal areas can all result from the use of properties as short term lets and this can be damaging to local communities.

“We welcome visitors to our borough and we are aware there are circumstances where short-term lets are appropriate, but with a growing demand for council homes we cannot tolerate the use of our properties as short term lets.”

 

June 19, 2017

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