MP proposes law to stop Airbnb ‘exploiting York’s housing supply’

An MP for York has introduced a bill to allow short-term accommodation and vacation rentals in a bid to prevent visitors to the town from turning ‘wonderful little communities into nightmares’.

Rachael Maskell said she is being contacted by constituents who no longer feel safe in their homes due to a growing number of Airbnbs, many of which are becoming ‘party houses’ hired by groups of stags and hens .

Ms Maskell said there were around 2,000 Airbnbs in her constituency and they were becoming more common on the outskirts of town and in more rural villages.

As YorkMix Previously reported, the MP for York Central has been contacted by constituents whose quiet family streets have been marred by AirBnB ‘party houses’.

A private member’s bill introduced by Ms Maskell this week would require a license to turn domestic properties into short-term accommodation and vacation rentals, give local authorities the power to impose fines and revoke licenses, and would seek to introduce bans on such properties in certain areas.

Ms Maskell cited European cities such as Nice and Lisbon which have successfully introduced licensing systems. Scotland is also looking to introduce similar measures.

Rachael Maskell, Central MP for York

She added that the government’s plans for a simple registration system did not go far enough.

“By introducing legislation to end the exploitation of York’s housing supply, it will help cool the housing market and return more homes to families,” the Labor MP said.

“It is unacceptable that an unregulated holiday market deprives local families of the opportunity to access accommodation, while profiting from their loss.

“Family Streets also report that their streets are transformed into rowdy weekend nightmares, as once-peaceful weekends have been replaced by nighttime noise and anti-social behavior.

“My bill will also give local authorities new powers to remove vacation rental permission from problematic properties.”

The next stage of the bill, its second reading, is expected to take place in December.

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