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Graham Awards


Westminster wants to tax short let tenants

Westminster’s Labour controlled council is stepping up its war on Airbnbs and other short lets.

It was a mandatory registration system for short-term rentals, would like powers to impose its own overnight levy on users, and make AirBnb landlords pay higher council tax.

In a speech in London the council’s leader, Adam Hug, describes the proliferation of short lets as an ‘enforcement nightmare’.


And he points out that in one block of flats close to The Ritz on Piccadilly the rooms let by individual owners via short let platforms rival the number of rooms let by the hotel itself. And he says the flat complex contributes “a mere” £92,000 in council tax in contrast to the £2.27m paid by the Ritz.

Hug adds that: “As we continue to face tens of millions in cuts over the next few years, the time has come to consider whether London’s local authorities might be able to decide for themselves if they want to charge a small levy, on short lets as well as hotels, as can be found in cities around the world.”

The authority has suggested that the potential tax could either be a fixed amount or a percentage, significant enough to make a difference but not deter demand.

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    All politicians love tax people. If they didn’t, then they would not have money to waste.


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