Crack down on Airbnbs as Oxford councilors fear communities are being ’emptied’

The city council is set to clamp down on the growing number of Airbnb vacation rentals amid a housing shortage and fears communities are being ’emptied’.

Oxford City Council’s Cabinet agreed this week to advance plans to stop household waste collection at these addresses, forcing landlords to pay for disposal in a bid to discourage short-term rental of homes potential.

Finding properties that are not registered as holiday rentals will also become a priority for the council’s planning enforcement team.

It emerged that all 104 registered properties currently have waste collected despite not paying council tax.

Data used in the council’s report indicates that 781 entire properties have been listed as available for short-term rental through Airbnb, with “the vast majority” in central areas such as Carfax & Jericho, Hinksey Park, Holywell, St Clement’s and St. Mary’s. Other wards with active listings are Cowley, Cutteslowe and Sunnymead, Headington and Marston.

London is the only place in England where planning permission is required for properties offering short-term accommodation for more than 90 nights a year, but a government review of these rules is underway.

The City Council has the power to compel landlords to register properties at business rates if they are used for short-term rentals for 140 days or more per year – 104 properties in Oxford are currently registered.

Cllr Linda Smith (Lab, Lye Valley), a member of the town’s cabinet for housing, said: ‘This report is prompted by this council’s desire to control the loss of residential properties, which could be inhabited by permanent residents of this city. , to the seasonal rental business.

“We have asked for more powers to regulate this trade and there is an upcoming government consultation where we will repeat these requests. Until we receive more powers, we are determined to do everything we can right now in an effort to control the loss of properties.

She said the waste was collected from 104 registered properties, despite not paying council tax.

“It’s not fair to residents paying for municipal services and it’s not fair to other businesses paying for commercial waste disposal contracts,” she added.

Cllr Alex Hollingsworth (Lab, Carfax & Jericho), Cabinet Member for Housing Planning and Delivery, focused on ripple impact.

“Attention should be drawn to the fact that there are 781 whole houses which are therefore not available for families or individuals,” he said.

“These are concentrated in four neighborhoods and that’s a really large proportion of households. This is starting to impact local schools, which are losing students, and other local services.

“If the government doesn’t address this I think we run the risk of the kind of things that happen in villages in places like Cornwall, Devon and Norfolk where the majority of houses are empty for much of the year. , and even towns across the UK, and in Europe and across America where entire neighborhoods are hollowed out because of this trade.

“The sooner we can get some degree of control, the better. The social consequences are far greater than people imagine.

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