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MP introduces Bill urging greater policing of Airbnb-style short lets

Labour MP Karen Buck has introduced a 10-minute Rule Bill in the House of Commons to highlight the dangers of Airbnb-style short-lets to neighbourhoods and the wider rental sector. 

Buck, MP for Westminster North and a past critic of some aspects of the rental sector, wants greater policing of short-lets following a recent survey she conducted amongst constituents.

“Of course it is reasonable for people to be able to let rooms or their property for short periods without excessive interference. However, there are still rules which do need to be enforced” she says on her website. 

“Short and holiday lets should not interfere with the right of neighbours to have the peaceful enjoyment of their homes, and care must be taken to prevent much needed residential property simply turning into an arm of the hotel industry” she adds.

In her survey, Buck asked about the impact of short-lets: out of a total 218 responses, some 80 per cent thought that it should be easier to enforce the rules that properties should not be let out for more than 90 days. Short lets adding up to more than 90 days in a year require planning consent in London.

No fewer than 81 per cent of respondents had experience of properties near them being rented out on a holiday or short-let basis - over half had suffered nuisance problems. 

These included noise - people arriving and leaving noisily in the middle of the night, loud parties, and wrong buzzers being used at night - as well as security worries, rubbish being left untied, drug use and prostitution, and the loss of ‘community feeling’.

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