Too many Airbnbs? Councils should control the numbers, its…

Housing campaigners want the government to give English councils the power to refuse Airbnbs

Action on Short-Term Lets, a campaign group, has launched a campaign for English councils to have the right to refuse the conversion of entire homes to Airbnbs or other short-term lets.

The campaign is calling on people to respond to a government consultation on a registration system for short-term rentals which ends tomorrow, September 21.

Campaigners say the number of residential homes being converted into short-term accommodation for tourists in England is on the rise, and say it is depriving communities of much-needed accommodation for local people in many popular tourist destinations.

While the Scottish and Welsh governments have introduced measures allowing councils to ban the conversion of residential homes into whole-house short-term rentals, the English government has yet to act.

Will McMahon, Director of Action on Empty Homes, says: “The majority of listings are not of hosts renting out spare rooms in their own homes, but for entire homes. This sucks properties out of the housing market, reduces housing for residents, fragments communities and displaces long-term renters where landlords shift to short-term rentals.

“Ultimately, the consequences are less housing and increased costs for tenants and buyers.”

Isaac Rose, organizer of the Greater Manchester Tenants Union – closely linked to the let’s anti-shorts campaign – adds: “While licensing would improve standards and conditions, much more needs to be done to limit the harmful effects than rentals short-term have on housing supply and erosion of local communities. We need to give councils the power to refuse whole house conversions to Airbnb rentals.”

Action on Short-Term Lets says it will convene a national meeting of all interested groups later in 2022.

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