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Airbnb Clampdown - Labour MP steps up campaign against short lets

A Labour MP who wants a licensing system to be introduced for Airbnb-style short lets and holiday accommodation is holding a so-called ‘community meeting’ on the issue tomorrow.

Rachael Maskell, Labour MP for York, wants the Scottish licensing model to be extended across England, enabling local authorities to set up control zones to limit the expansion of holiday lets where housing is considered to be ‘under pressure’.

The measure would also give councils new powers to close down short lets that are causing a repeated nuisance to local residents, and returning these homes to mainstream residential use.


Maskell says her initiatives - which go further than those suggested by the government last year - is backed by some other MPs who want to protect rural, coastal and urban communities with a common concern about ”villages hollowed out by holiday let investors and second home-owners, and urban streets that are now party streets.”

At the end of last year Maskell wrote in local media in York that in addition to the impact on housing supply, “on the darker side, we hear anecdotally that in some places these properties harbour criminal activities, from modern slavery to [drug criminals known as] County Lines.”

Now Maskell is holding a meeting with seats bookable via her website.

She has told local media in York: “The expansion of short-term holiday lets, and their impact on community life, is an issue of great concern to me and many other residents across the city. Last year, I presented my 'Fairbnb Bill' to government.

"Much of my bill has now been adopted by the government in this new legislation [the Levelling Up Bill, now going through Pariament], although there are areas that I am still keen to see strengthened if we are to meet the scale of the challenges faced in some of our neighbourhoods.

"I am really glad that the government is finally recognising the need for better regulation of short-term lets, but am keen to push for further local powers, so that councils can develop tailored approaches that address local issues and answer community concerns.

“These consultations are the best way the people of York can push the government to make these essential changes, and this meeting is an opportunity to find out more about the proposals and how to most effectively respond to these consultations.”

After the recent local elections the newly-appointed York council leader - Labour's Claire Douglas - told local press that she was "committed" to extending licensing of landlords and ensuring reduced numbers of Airbnbs and short-term holiday lets in the city.

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    More demolition of ‘private ownership’ and our crucial right to control our hard won assets.

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    We are going full ‘ USSR” …. Old school 😱😱. They are trying to block all our routes out of long term AST’s 👎🏻👎🏻

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    I actually agree that short term rentals need to be licensed as they need to be as safe as proper hospitality businesses and are potentially much more of a risk to temporary occupants and neighbours than long term rentals, including HMO properties.

    Temporary occupants are unfamiliar with the property and more likely to be inebriated than long term occupants so proper fire and other safety precautions need to be in place, be properly maintained and inspected, which needs to be paid for and proven by some type of permission or licence.


    I’ve got Air B&B’s and have no problem with a register or licensing scheme. I actually follow much higher standards of safety than BTL’s and complete full annual assessments including every electrical item is checked. I’ve also had fire assessments done by the local fire brigade. Sadly very few hosts do this so a licensing scheme would be good for everyone. However it needs to be run properly and unfortunately if the BTL licensing schemes are anything to go by it will be a total waste of time and money! Such a shame that seemingly good processes put in place to raise standards to benefit us all by getting rid of rogue landlords are so poorly run.



    I agree that Councils often fail to do their jobs properly in adequately inspecting or enforcing required standards and ensuring all necessary repairs or improvements are done.

    In fairness I have found Glasgow HMO unit quite good, responsive and realistic but the legal department who administer the licensing process are abysmal, arrogant and obstructive. Their inefficiency costs the Council Tax Payers a fortune through failing to even issue renewed licences promptly. I had one HMO inspection in September 2020 but it took the admin bureaucrats until October 2021 to issue the renewed licence, saving me 13 months of licence costs or nearly 40% of the £950 three year renewal fee.

    From a safety point of view, this inefficiency means the next mandatory inspection will also be at least 13 months late in being done. My properties are all safe and well, maintained but many others are not and the HMO licence scheme was supposedly set up for safety, not revenue reasons.

    Wonder if the Council legal department could be charged with manslaughter because of their negligence and inefficiency?

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    My licensed properties in 12 years only had 8 per cent of them inspected it is just another way for these gangsters to steal from us
    I was going to keep some of my properties and change them to serviced accommodation but now just sell everything buy properties in europe and provide homes over there
    How much more do these thugs have to do to us before we can smell the stench of the camps


    I don't think the licence fee should be payable until after the required inspection is done but given how cavalier bureaucrats are with our money this would probably make no difference to their effectiveness although it would save landlords paying for a service which wasn't delivered.

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    Anthony don’t complain when they come no matter how good your Property is when they inspect they soon make a list.
    The HMO’s restricts the landlords as to how many can occupy say 4/5 for a 3 bed
    house but that don’t stop overcrowding Tenants sub-letting like billieo to fill any available space.
    There’s loads of overcrowding in Wembley, some Tenants making a killing, when you see 30/40 men standing outside Builders Merchants in London looking for a days work do you no ask yourself where are they living ? or car wash?.
    Exclude the landlords from the property in reasonable day light hours like it used to be, you have to give notice to give them the opportunity to make sure other illegals are out. I know it’s a bit different for room renting but not much when landlords are too scared the Tenant complains to Council.
    Fine the landlord is all everyone thinks.

  • Richard LeFrak

    With the renters reform bill is it any wonder that landlords are going down this route? Probably more checks through them but most reasonable landlords will have them to a good standard anyway. No S21 no problem Airbnb, tenants not paying rent no problem Airbnb, people complain no problem Airbnb and refund them 60quid. Wake up Gove you fool....

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    Previously HMO licensing didn’t apply to families which encouraged LL’s to house families, now Mr Gove has changed all that by introducing Selective licensing in many cases Borough wide so why would you bother to take on a family now the incentive is gone higher maintenance costs with kids involved and lower rent than Sharers.
    As far as I am aware in some Boroughs you pay 30% (x times hundreds £’s) when you make the Application and they give themselves the automatic mandate to take the Balance from your card when they are ready to issue the license if they issue the license, yes it usually takes more than a year for Renewals because of what Gove done bogged them down with over load and if Mandatory license it will be £1550/ £1650 in London fee for a Semi, step scale for Additional and Selective.
    As long as the Application is applied for you won’t get prosecuted for not having a licence. It seems to me the Council’s have passed the burden of work to a third party, can Meta Street keep up ?.
    I think the fee has to be high enough to get third party to do it and have their own money on top for free to sit there complaining about landlords,
    I digress.


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