UK Government considers crackdown on short term lets over anti-social behaviour concerns
Concerns over rowdy Airbnb guests could prompt a UK Government crackdown on short-term lets, according to new anti-social behaviour plans.
An action plan published by the Government on Monday aims to stop short-term lets “importing anti-social behaviour into communities”.
It comes amid concerns about the potential for Airbnb lets – which see homeowners rent shared rooms or entire properties to holidaymakers or travellers – to cause trouble for quiet or residential communities.
Referencing noise problems, drunken behaviour and disorderly conduct, the plan promises the creation of a new registration scheme that would provide councils with the data to identify short-term lets in the local area.
If any short-term rental property proved “problematic”, local officials could take action against guests and owners.
Communities Secretary Michael Gove earlier this month expressed concerns about the impact of short-term letting on local areas, promising to make changes aimed at restricting “the way that homes can be turned into Airbnbs”, amid concerns about problems with holiday lets preventing younger workers from living and finding a job near to home.
Mr Sunak was quizzed on the issue of Airbnb guests causing a nuisance to local residents at an event in Essex on Monday morning.
“Let me take that away. I’ve got a feeling we are looking at that, from memory,” he said.
Elsewhere, the Government also promised to target the “awful” practice of cuckooing, with plans to make it a new criminal offence.
Cuckooing, where the home of a vulnerable person is taken over and used for illegal activity, has a “serious impact” on victims while also causing anti-social behaviour in communities.
An Airbnb spokesman said: “Parties are banned on Airbnb and our industry-leading prevention technology blocked more than 84,000 people in the UK from making certain unwanted bookings last year alone.
“Our 24/7 hotline for neighbours means anyone can contact us directly about a concern with a listing and we investigate and take action on reports received.
“We are committed to being good partners to local communities in the UK, and have long supported the introduction of a national short-term lets register to give authorities better visibility of activity in their area.”
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People don’t become “problematic” because they’re happy and have lots of opportunities. People generally continue “problematic” behaviour because they’re not challenged and/or don’t have anything to lose.
Shall we spend money on giving people more opportunities? Shall we adequately fund the police or courts or probation services? No, lets announce a crackdown on behaviour which won’t lead to any real change but might win us a few votes in the short term.