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Airbnb disowns landlords who evict long-term tenants for short-let gains

Airbnb, so often criticised for operating in the largely-unregulated short lets market, has called on the UK government to scrap Section 21 evictions.

It claims the outlawing of this kind of long-term rental eviction, often done to allow properties to be switched to short lets, would help Airbnb itself police the sector.

Spokeswoman Amanda Cupples says Airbnb removes landlords from its platform if tenants have been unlawfully evicted, but has been powerless to stop that in the UK because of Section 21.

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"At the moment there are very few illegal evictions that we can take action against because they are done legally using Section 21.”

Cupples also calls for the creation of a UK-wide short lets landlord register plus the introduction of local tourism taxes to help permanent residents benefit from living in a tourism hotspot. The measures were part of Airbnb’s "Healthy Tourism Commitment" published this week. 

She says: "We have collected $4 billion in 'tourism taxes' all around the world so where local authorities or regulators think it is in the best interests of communities to introduce tourism taxes, we will be supportive.”

 

The Scottish National Party has pledged to bring in a tourism tax in Edinburgh if it wins control of the council in next month’s local elections in May while the Welsh Government will launch a consultation on a tourism levy this autumn. Meanwhile the UK government announced last year that it would consult on introducing an industry-wide Tourism Accommodation Register to regulate the holiday let sector but has yet to make progress on the measure.

A statement from Airbnb says it can share its experience of taxes worldwide with UK local authorities “where there is clear support for such a measure to be introduced in the community.”

Cupples adds: “Our priority is to make sure the recovery is a success and to ensure communities can benefit from the return of tourism in a healthy and sustainable way. Since last year we have led calls on short-term lets rules being introduced and now, alongside communities in some parts of the UK, we are keen to see the government turn talk into action.” 

Want to comment on this story? If so...if any post is considered to victimise, harass, degrade or intimidate an individual or group of individuals on any basis, then the post may be deleted and the individual immediately banned from posting in future.

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    No she don’t disown Landlords but wants them all for herself. I have Commented on this yesterday in previous article Amanda Cupples the General Manager of AirBnB Europe, backed Government in proposal to Remove Section 21, very big of her when Short Term let’s don’t need the Protection of S.21.
    Also going to drive Thousands of even more Landlords into her clutches of Airbnb, get it right another parasite.

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    If anyone wanted to protect long term tenants and the jobs that come with the regular tourism industry there would be a requirement for all Airbnbs to have planning permission, licencing and pay proper tax.

    In the right place there is nothing wrong with Airbnb style letting but in the wrong place it's decimating communities and creating havoc for remaining residents.

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    Even more landlords will now be looking to quickly get their tenants out if they own in a tourist hotspot……. If they have not done already.

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    That's exactly what Airbnb wants to happen.

     
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    Yes it happened to me!

     
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    There are other short term let options other than AirB&B!

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    More cities are bringing in Airbnb clampdowns. Now Airbnb hope to head this off by getting their friends in government to override the LA bans with a sweetener tax and register. Minimising their profits, but allowing their business model to continue. These party flats must only be allowed in standalone, complete blocks. Not as parasites on residents blocks.

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    'Spokeswoman Amanda Cupples says Airbnb removes landlords from its platform if tenants have been unlawfully evicted, but has been powerless to stop that in the UK because of Section 21.

    "At the moment there are very few illegal evictions that we can take action against because they are done legally using Section 21.” '

    Eh? They can't take action against illegal evictions.... because they're not illegal??

    I think AirBNB need a better spin department.

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    Max, this is it exactly the removal of Section 21 is to prevent you getting your own Property back and making it illegal to do so, it will make previous Recessions look like a boom, removing the very foundation the whole industry is based on. I know what it was like before it was implemented virtually zero Property available to Rent and only a handful of letting Agents in London not like now at least a dozen in every Borough a real Landlord money spinner for the Government, Councils and Revenue plus the Thousands employed in the Business creating Billions of £’s per annum for the Economy with no input Financial of otherwise by them. Do the Government not know when they are on a roll or have they got a Treasonable death wish.

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    Jo. We have I believe restrictions on Houses of Multiple Occupation to prevent too many in a given area, in the shape of Article 4 where Planning Permission can be required, so why not for Airbnb or is it because they have taken over in scores of other Countries and dictating what Governments Policies should be, they are not Elected Representatives and not their remit to tell Government what laws to make.

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    After living in a property in a small seaside town for 6yrs, I was issued a section 21, the Landlord told me he wanted to sell, however a week after I moved out the property was listed as an AirBnB holiday let at £200 per night - my rent had been £995 pm.
    He had been happy to take my money for 6 yrs always paid on time, I maintained and improved the property, But I had no rights.
    It’s too easy for Landlords to evict long-standing tenants, after 6yrs of happily taking my money, it was no longer enough, I had to leave my home, as he wanted the Airbnb ££££.

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    Sharron I am sorry you feel that way about it but you were renting the property not buying it. The Contract would have made that clear at what point did you think you would acquire ownership. There’s a clear difference between renting and buying and you were not buying. The Landlord did not take your money he provided you with a property and has to charge for supplying that Service to you. I am sure he had to pay Lenders or Banks plenty, he didn’t acquire a free property by a miracle or pennies for heaven to hand out for free so he was not taking your money nor were the Banks taking his money they a charging for the service so it’s no use implying people are talking your money as if for nothing. I hope you will buy a property everyone goes through a renting phase I wish you every success in the future.

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    Hi Michael
    I would dearly love to own my property again.
    I was giving an example from a tenants perspective of a Landlord who very happy for a number of years to have a good tenant, but then saw how much extra he could make by turning the property into a short term holiday let. Section 21 served, and on your way! (Funny thing is the property was empty and he practically begged me to rent it at back in 2015, after lockdown and staycation anywhere near the coast became desirable)
    Thank you for your good wishes.


     
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    Relying on AirBnB to fill your property is not necessarily going to provide a better return on the money invested in the property. You could have many empty periods and you would have to provide cleaning services etc with the complications that that could bring.

    Sharron paid her rent regularly and would therefore appear to have been a better bet from a business perspective.

    I can understand how Sharron felt, but it would have been better to have bought something in a seaside town if £995 a month were available to pay a mortgage. Of course, Sharron knows her financial position and circumstances much better than I do, and generally people make the best decision for themselves at the time.

    As a tenant, Sharron should not have been carrying out improvements or maintenance to the property. That was not her role as a tenant. That was the role of the freeholder.

    I do feel that the impending switch to indefinite periodic tenancies will lead to many landlords giving notice to their long term tenants who they would otherwise have been prepared to house until the tenant wished to leave. It is therefore a counterproductive move from the tenants' perspective - and in many cases, will simply end the landlord's business - and the large amount of tax that that was providing for the country.

    Unfortunately, if landlords cannot ask tenants to leave, then a great number are going to be unwilling to let their properties to them, and that will lead to either the sale of the property or a switch to short lets. Compelling landlords to rent indefinitely is already driving up rents and leading to tenants being told to leave. Many of us can remember the situation before shorthold assured tenancies were introduced and when there were rent controls. That led to a tiny private rental sector.

    I can remember when my father let property at that time. There was literally a queue down the whole street of people wanting to view, and other people were asking what event was happening.

    At that time there was more social housing, too - and now not enough exists.

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    All those Regulation’s as it certainly appears are being brought in with one purpose in mind as Government has stated its their policy to reduce the Private Rented Sector, widely reported in the media and on here.
    Then they and everyone else shouting from the roof tops that there’s a grave shortage of housing, so this is their idea of making more housing available by reducing it further ???, (morons).

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    Sharron
    That can happen with a council or social housing provider.

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    I do agree Michael that the strategy is not a good one - and there is a lack of logic about it. Tenants are often not aware of the White Paper and only know their own personal experience - of suddenly being given notice to quit now and finding that rents have gone right up. That is not going to be a vote winner.

    Had the aim been to increase the size of the private rental sector by providing incentives for landlords to further invest in it (including reducing regulation of it), then rents would have fallen and tenants would have had their choice of flats at a reasonable price. There would have been very few section 21 notices served in those circumstances and so more security for existing tenants, too. Standards would have automatically risen, too.

    I know that my father always charged lowish rents and therefore many people were able to save to buy their own flats while renting from him. That is quite a good option for tenants. It is not one that will exist with the current reforms because, as you say Michael, the aim is to reduce the size of the private rental sector and therefore for landlords to pull out.

    Landlords do often care about their tenants, but the property is also an investment, and when it ceases to be a good investment and far too burdensome to own, then it will be sold - and that is predictable, and apparently what is wanted.

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    According to the White Paper renters stay at their rented property on average for 4.2 years so why the clammer for longer Tenancies. Michael Gove not fit for purpose.

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    My tenants generally stay for that and longer, sometimes much longer.

     
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    So the system of shorthold assured tenancies was working quite well for tenants before.

    As has been said many times, the tenants asked to leave early were often causing problems of one kind or another. The idea that they were being asked to move because they wanted repairs done seems very odd. Landlords have a huge amount of money tied up in those propeties and don't want them to deteriorate. Personally I have found it generally easy to carry out any required repairs very quickly, and tenants identifying the need for a repair would be something that I would welcome and not something that would lead me to tell them to leave. In fact, I think it is often the reverse situation, tenants do not want the inconvenience of repairs and improvements.

     
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    Ellie
    My first hand experience is that tenants do not want the landlord coming around or carrying out routine maintenance or repairs. They often want instant attention for something that they are aware of but not bothered to report, until it becomes critical

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    Edwin, I have experienced that, too - and that can lead to damage, particularly if there is a water leakage issue which has not been reported in a timely manner.

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    Ellie
    Woke politics are being brought in at an astonishing speed of which monstering landlords is part of the propaganda war being waged on the British. Three landlords have been murdered by their tenants, it doesn't register with the political class ! GB news is offering a more balanced perspective.

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    In order to support an agenda, it is very easy to create an unbalanced picture of the private rental sector in which landlords are seen as powerful victimisers and tenants are seen as powerless victims. The situation can often be quite the reverse. A false picture, however, has consequences, and in this case it is landlords pulling out, an increasing shortage of accommodation. and rising rents as a result. Tragically, the consequence can also be murder.

    I will have a look at GB news.

     
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    Well if you have a property that’s relatively modern and everything is already compliant then I agree maintenance is not too difficult.
    However when you have a traditional Terraced or Semi- obviously not compliant how could it be when it was already there before they invented new Regulations that didn’t exist back then, so when you start installing fire doors & sometimes ripping out doors frames its a different kettle of fish with people living in the property and everywhere jammed tight with their belongings, then start lifting floor boards to run wires whether for electric upgrade or install hard wired fire alarm system & emergency lighting or plumbing and kitchen alterations to comply. I have been there done that Its close to impossible, careful now don’t touch my belongings or rise any dust try it & see, (don’t come early or work late how long will it take you are you not finished yet).

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    Fire door installation generates an enormous amount of wood dust, particularly if your door frame is not standard size so you need to have a bespoke door made on site - and recreate a new door frame, as well. You need intumescent strips, cold seals and concealed door closers installed now too.

    Mains wired smoke alarms seem to engage every electric circuit in the property.

    You are lucky if you get a good electrician and fire door installer, otherwise you could have real problems- and the tenants could be very inconvenienced by the work. I have been lucky- and I bought all the materials myself and just paid for labour.

    It is easy to require these things, but not so easy to carry them out. I do agree.

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    Fair enough but the hardwired fire alarms system can’t affect any other parts of the electrical installation and has to be directly wired independently on it own circuit with its own trip switch on the Consumer Unit. Anyway there is so much other stuff we can’t go into in a blog, also I commend you for doing things well, on the down side it all costs lots of dosh but then we have to pay the Council’s for the work we just did.

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    You seem to have fully understood the installation of the fire alarm system - brilliant! I only had to have hard wired smoke alarms installed which can be connected to the lighting circuit.

    The licence can be very expensive, but there is a website (Mybuilder) where you can advertise for electricians and fire door installers etc. and that can keep the price down for the labour costs. You obtain more than one quote for each job. I have used that regularly. My fire door installation including the making of the bespoke fire door, recreation of the door frame, installation of the intumescent strips, concealed door closer, new door handle and lock etc only cost £100.

    My hard wired smoke alarm system installation cost £130.

    I think that some landlords are not compliant because they encounter the wrong tradesmen who want to rip them off.

    I advertise for every job that I can't do myself - and compare quotes.

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    Sorry it can’t be wired off the lights circuit I had this years knocked back and I acknowledge it was easier your way but it has to be wired independently on its own circuit, now I will continue cutting the grass.

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    I believe it depends on if the mains wired smoke alarms have a battery back up (as mine do)
    Fire Safety Building Regulations -
    1.18 A smoke alarm, or smoke alarm system, that includes a standby power supply or supplies, [ie AC with battery back up], can operate during mains failure. It can therefore be connected to a regularly-used local lighting circuit.

    I chose to buy the alarms with the battery back up.

     
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    And if there is no battery back up then you are absolutely correct:

    1.17 The power supply for a smoke alarm system should be derived from the dwelling’s mains electricity supply................If alarm comprises no stand by power supply, [ie AC ONLY] no other electrical equipment should be connected to this circuit. [ie AC only alarms, must only be wired back to main consumer unit on dedicated circuit].

     
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    Ellie my friend you are having us on, all mine have battery back up too same difference should be independent and the annual Certificate alone will cost £100.
    Regarding the fire doors I don’t want the cheapest on the market taking from the property so even a cheap 6 panel moulded door from B&Q is £100. or £129. Wicked, the door furniture alone cost me £100. concealed door closers are more dangerous than anything else goes bang if someone opens a window, a reasonable quality Briton 2003 is £70. I put 3 fire hinges £20, because the doors are hardly fit to hold the screws. Mortise lock £11.99 Euro handles £15.Euro thumb screw cylinder with 3 keys £11.99, for Security and comply with requirement that a person cannot get locked in a room so no keys allowed inside the room. What about frames, door stops & seals but all this materials is still at the Merchants & will need full paint treatment. How much an hour is a Carpenter those days if you can get one to come….

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    Michael, I am not having you on at all.

    The electrician advised on everything including which alarms to buy and on Fire Safety Building Regulations which I posted above about the different installation requirements depending on whether there is a battery back up or not.

    Search online for the Fire Safety Building Regulations if you don't believe it. I can't post a link on here.

    My fire door is hardwood - and I couldn't buy from suppliers like B & Q because you can only trim millimetres off them. I had to buy a fire door blank. I bought the fire door blank etc myself - and paid for the labour which was £100. The fire door installer advised me on which hinges, lock and handle to buy etc. He was marvellous at his job - and I thought the job was very reasonably priced. Obviously when you add on the price of materials, the whole job cost considerably more than £100.

    I was required by the Council to install the concealed door closer and the intumescent strips and the cold seal. I was told that those are the regulations now.

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    Unless something's changed the Building Regulations are the Bible. Unfortunately everybody seems capable of interpreting and imposing their own version. For instance unless the local authority have their own law, you can keep your existing plastic fusebox (consumer unit). Could Angels Media get in touch because l have some horror stories about gas and electric certification.

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