New team of council detectives to crack down on unlawful Airbnb nightly lettingMake Text Bigger
Westminster Council in London is looking to crack down on property owners unlawfully letting their homes on a nightly basis using platforms such as Airbnb for more than 90 days per year.
Airbnb lettings in Westminster have more than doubled in the last two years to over 3,600 and rising with nearly 1,500 of these being investigated for unauthorised short term letting instead of on a minimum 6month AST contract.
The council will be employing officers as detectives to gather evidence and prosecute owners for breaking the maximum 90 day short term lettings law.
Conservative leader of Westminster Council, Cllr Nickie Aiken, said:
“I am calling on the government to introduce a new tax on nightly letting as local tax payers unfairly bear the burden of our related council services and activities.”
“I know there are many who legitimately and responsibly let out their homes for under 90 nights a year to make some extra money. However, some selfish people treat this as an entirely commercial enterprise, letting their property out for one or two nights at a time all year round, with little or no thought to the wider community.”
“It is quite simple. Ninety days must mean just that. Companies must take responsibility for some of the unintended consequences of their business model, which is causing misery in pockets of ours and other cities across the world.”
This is yet another proposed extra tax on Buy-to-Let Landlords who have been driven out of the long term lettings market due punitive Government (local and central) taxation.
One member of Property118 commented on the proposal to increase taxation on nightly lets saying:
“Typical politician they create a problem with Section 24 and all the other recent anti-landlord legislation and then get uptight when they dislike the consequences. If you prohibit and restrict landlords moving into Airbnb, or holidays lets or anything else they will just exit the market (unless she thinks she can stop that as well – lessons from King Canute needed here).
She needs to learn that if you tax Landlords out of existence then they will no longer exist!”
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