A landlord in Oxford is no longer allowed to offer a local property for short-term lets following a lengthy planning battle with Oxford City Council.
The property on William Street, OX3, is no longer permitted to be rented out on a short-term basis after the council issued a ban.
Last year, Oxford City Council issued a planning enforcement notice on the owner of the property, after a local resident complained of antisocial behaviour and nuisance.
The owner appealed to the Planning Inspectorate, but the authority has now thrown out the appeal and instructed the landlord to stop using it as a short let from this month.
The council is now urging other landlords to apply for proper consent prior to letting out their properties as short-term lets.
There has been a notable rise in the number of short let properties in Oxford in recent years.
Research by the council in February, prior to the lockdown, found that there were almost 1,500 homes available on short let websites in Oxford.
The council now argues that short term lets could be considered a ‘material change’, which would mean that planning permission is required.
It would appear that the local authority ultimately wants to ban landlords from operating unauthorised short-term lets.
Cllr Alex Hollingsworth, cabinet member for planning and housing delivery, said: “There are hundreds of short let properties in Oxford and almost none of them have planning permission. This means we have no record of which properties are short lets or any way of taking quick action against landlords.
“I first asked the government to take action on this more than two years ago. I realise there are other priorities right now but this nettle should have been grasped long before the pandemic hit.”
He added: “Short lets in Oxford have resulted in a loss of valuable family homes. In some extreme cases, short lets have been used for regular loud parties and even as brothels. This case shows that we do take the issue seriously and we will chase landlords through the legal system if necessary.”