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Airbnb Party Houses - new bid to change law for short lets sector

An MP has introduced a Private Member’s Bill which, if successful, would reduce what she calls the “nightmare” of Airbnb party houses.

Rachael Maskell, Labour MP for York Central, says the number of Airbnbs in York is rising, with many rented out as "party houses" and the issue increasingly moving to the suburbs and rural areas as well as the city centre.

Maskell says there are some 2,000 Airbnbs in her constituency, and she has told fellow MPs: "In the city centre, we often find family streets where there are five or six Airbnbs and it is having a serious impact."


She has told local media in York that in one cul-de-sac there is a house advertised on Airbnb as being for 30 people. 

"It is at the end of a family residential street, and people in my community have told me that the noise goes on all night … People do not feel safe in their own home any more. I heard from one family who put their house on the market and moved out of the city, which was the only way they could escape the party houses that were increasingly in their area."

If it became law, her Private Member’s Bill, being discussed this week, would make a licence mandatory to turn domestic properties into short-term and holiday-let accommodation, give local authorities the power to issue fines and to remove licences and ban such properties in certain areas.

Maskell has previously blamed the proliferation of short lets in York for higher house prices and making it difficult for first time buyers to get on the property ladder.

She has previously said: “Party groups are coming to the city and we're seeing a big rise in Airbnbs where people are staying, so it's now not just contained in the city centre, it's growing out to the communities where people live.

"People are buying up housing stock, cash in hand, so the chance for first-time buyers trying to get their house is disappearing and it's pushing up the market price."

“I am bringing a focus on the devastation that Hen and Stag parties is bringing to York and why we must pivot to become a leading family friendly city for the sake of residents and our economy. York is better than this.”

News of Maskell’s attempt to change the law comes as Airbnb itself says that its so-called ‘party ban’ - introduced in 2020 at the height of the pandemic - is being made permanent.


The platform claims that there’s been a 63 per cent drop in reports of parties in Airbnb host homes the UK since the temporary ban.  

“The ban has been well received by our host community and we’ve received positive feedback from community leaders and elected officials. As we build on this momentum, we believe the time is right to codify this policy” says a statement from Airbnb.

However, at the same time as making the ban permanent Airbnb has scrapped its maximum number of occupants, which was previously 16.

This is apparently “based on feedback from a number of hosts who have listings that can house above 16 people comfortably.”

“Today’s announcement makes clear that there is no place for disruptive parties on Airbnb” says Amanda Cupples, general manager for northern Europe at Airbnb

She continues: “Since being introduced, the ban has led to a reduction in reported incidents and helped minimise the impact of noise and nuisance issues on communities. In the rare event of an issue, our Neighbourhood Support Line allows anyone with concerns in the community to contact someone at Airbnb directly so we can fully investigate.”

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    This is a direct result of continuously interfering with Section 21, plus HMO’s and Section 24 etc, driving out Landlords from regular letting.
    What do you expect it seems to me if any business is
    successful, it cannot be allowed and the law will be changed to stop it. York the centre of Government Housing Policy’s a couple of ladies there has done some damage.



    I usually agree with your posts but I have had first hand experience of how party houses have blighted residential areas in Edinburgh.

    Edinburgh Council has tried to ban them in flats so they have simply moved to suburban houses.

    They are anti social and dangerous and the same laws which apply to unrelated adults sharing on a long term basis should apply even more to short term lets where the property is unfamiliar and booze will affect the behaviour and judgement of the party goers.

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    No surprise at all….. I predicted a while ago the government would turn their gaze towards Airbnb. I do think some rules need to be in place for the bad elements, but just like the normal lettings market this will badly hit the majority of good landlords/owners.

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    Their are plenty of laws to deal with this problem but they are not enforced.

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    The party issue is a red herring. They just want to make sure that once Section 21 has gone that landlords cannot let their properties as licences for short term visitors in order to avoid tenants obtaining security of tenure. In Scotland serviced flats have to be registered and there has to be daily cleaning in order to establish that the occupier does not have exclusive posession - the requirement to establish that there is a licence and not a tenancy.

    It would be difficult to obtain registration for short term letting of your property in London; local authoriies could probably refuse that.

    These "reforms" all combine to mean that you own your property in name only which is why, in those circumstances, the best course of action is to sell it.

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    Ellie - I can see your point, so maybe it will be the holiday let side of things to be targeted next…. Any of the locations that landlords have run to, to avoid all the recent legislation?

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    There was supposed to be a consultation in the autumn about short term lets before any new legislation was introduced, so this Private Members Bill is jumping the gun.

    It seems, Simon, that they are very keen to stop landlords having any other option than handing their properties over indefinitely to tenants - which the majority of landlords are not prepared to do, as we know from the situation before shorthold assured tenancies were first introduced.

    I think from our perspective it becomes a question of timing - when is the best time to sell? How many more assaults on private property ownership are going to occur?

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    Who in their right mind would let a property out as a party house for 30 people. The mess and damage from drunken party goers could be horrific

  • George Dawes

    Slowly but surely by stealth they're destroying the PRS and the income for people who've worked hard and bought their own property..

    Destruction of the working and middle class , all on the wef website

    Return to serfdom

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    And nobody is listening at all to the stakeholders in the private rental sector - it seems as though we don't exist. We had no representation before the recent White Paper was formulated and now we are allowed no input at all before this private members bill is introduced. What has happened to the rule of law in this country?

    And incidentally, I don't let any property as an AirBnB or a holiday let.

    Suzy OShea

    Hi Ellie Edwards,

    I like your comments. However, regarding consultation of landlords in the PRS, was the NRLA not our representative?



    Hi Suzy,

    They were indeed, but the White Paper is precisely what Shelter and Generation Rent wanted. Landlords did not want indefinite periodic tenancies with only tenants able to end a tenancy unless a Section 8 reason could be identified- these reasons are currently all discretionary in Scotland now which means that a tribunal will decide if a landlord should have their property back if they need to sell etc.

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    This is what Rachael Maskell said on the 16th June 2022 - no mention of the Government's planned consultation in the autumn:

    "I know that the Government have been on a path to look at a registration scheme on Airbnbs. I do not knock them for that, but the world has changed rapidly. I just say to them that we need to move on from that now and look at a full licensing scheme. A registration scheme would simply have serious deficiencies. We have heard about the benefits of a licensing scheme in Lisbon, and Scotland is introducing one. I also point the Minister towards what has happened in Nice, which has a stringent licensing scheme, but one that works incredibly well for those residents. A licensing scheme could help local government have sufficiency in resourcing to support this.

    Both hon. Members have mentioned having a different class of housing so that a separate revenue could be charged from that, but we could also look at doubling council tax or even at having a multiplier on council tax, at the local authority’s discretion. This could be one way of looking at how we can build that revenue back into the local area. Of course these people will then pay for those services—currently they are not—such as refuge collection and even parking schemes, which have an impact on areas.....

    Finally let me look at the speed with which we need to bring this in. The Levelling-up and Regeneration Bill is before Parliament, and it talks about opportunities associated with things such as second property reform. As we have heard, for many people we are talking not just about a second property, but a third, fourth and so on. I have heard that some have more than 100 properties; this is a very highly organised industry. It would seem appropriate that the Government could table an amendment or new clause to that Bill to look at this issue and address the matters before us. If we do not act now, the housing issues that the Minister and his team are trying to resolve, which are complex and growing, are going to just get worse and worse. Therefore, I would really welcome more discussion with the Government about how we are going to move this rapidly into legislation to end this nightmare for our residents. Given the number of Members from across the House and their communities that this has an impact on, may I suggest to the Minister that he holds a roundtable with us so that we can discuss these issues at length? I think that across the House we all share the view of what we need to achieve, and I am sure that we can find the right solutions for government and for our communities."

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    Basically back door communism


    Spot on!


    And the Communists did not win the last general election.

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    In essence she is saying (Orwellian newspeak), that we need to take the PRS properties before they sell them.

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    Surly for most city centre workers. There has been a natural move away to the country to find more room to work from home.
    Plus for the occasional stay in town air bnb is perfect for them as well.
    It's a lot cheaper and private for them.
    They dont always want or need hotel services.
    Plus I can't imagine new cheap style hotels being allowed to be built in the centre of Yourk.
    We have to allow strategically important flexibility in rental facilities available.
    Is the government ever going to be able to fulfill these needs.
    Hmm judging by their own statistics I dont think so.
    Did you know that the majority of housing stock in most cities were built by private landlords. To house the legions of factory workers.
    It was failed government policy that persuaded them to build tower blocks after the war rebuild. We know how that ended. They should have rebuilt and reformed the industries. Which sadly due to government apathy allowed them to die.
    They should have then helped the communities rebuild and modernise themselves. Instead of politically stalinist so called community slum clearences.
    So the current crisis is on the government.
    Isn't history great, yes, but only if you know it.
    Just on a side note all governments have been responsible for all this communist bull***t idealism.
    I wonder in whose pocket they are in.
    Just like the current wave of strikes and political unrest, coincidental?
    Is it coincidental that they are

  • George Dawes

    Nothing right honourable about being a politician

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    Airbnb has, in fact, now permanently banned parties from homes on its platform, but will that make any difference to the private members bill?


    It is another example of the government eventually doing something way OTT long after something has resolved itself. This week it's party size Airbnb which Airbnb themselves have banned. Last week it was abolishing Section 21 even though the tenant fees ban had largely already solved that one.


    Not a chance, also they can ban what they like…. Once the party has begun ……!! The government also see this avenue as another income stream for the local authorities and their favourite money making scams… the licensing scheme 🤔. As a landlord I feel the net is closing in with few avenues to move too, they will find them and ensure they end up like the PRS we have now… and the one to come.

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    No Ellie,it's a means to an end, look what Stalin did to farmers (small businesses essentially) . She just wants your hard earned wealth. Asbo is rife on this country.

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    You are both right, I am sure.


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