MPs are to have another opportunity to debate possible restrictions on the number of so-called party houses let from AirBnb and other short let platforms.
In early December there will be the second reading of the Short-term and Holiday-let Accommodation (Licensing) Private Members’ Bill, promoted by York Labour MP Rachael Maskell.
She 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."
In a Generation Rent podcast recently Maskell gave more details.
“The average [mainstream] rental price is £945 a month in York but landlords can make £700 for a weekend in an unregulated [short lets] market where they are seeing the opportunity to make more money.”
Maskell’s measure - if passed - 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.”
Meanwhile AirBnb itself is piloting - outside of the UK - technology which may identify and block prospective renters who want to stage anti-social parties.
The technology has already been tested for some months in Australia and is now being piloted in North America.
It analyses a prospective rent’s history of past renting on the short lets platform, how far from home they want to rent, whether they're renting for a weekday or weekend, and other factors.
There is no announcement yet from Airbnb about the technology being used in the UK, but the platform typically trials such innovations in some parts of the world before making them universal.
In June this year the platform said its so-called ‘party ban’ - introduced in 2020 at the height of the pandemic - was to be permanent.
It claims that there’s been a 63 per cent drop in reports of parties in Airbnb host homes in the UK since the temporary ban, with worldwide reports of parties at listed properties having dropped 44 per cent and over 6,600 guests suspended last year for staging parties in contravention of rules.
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