Calls to limit Airbnb rentals
There have been renewed calls to put restrictions on rental website Airbnb over concerns that short-term lets are having a negative impact on the number of residential rental properties.
Newcastle city councillor Marion Williams warned a development converting empty offices into 40 new flats in the city would not solve the need for rental residential accommodation but would “more likely become Airbnb”.
Airbnb properties in London can be rented out for no more than 90 days, but there are no upper limits outside of the capital, which has led to some would-be residential properties being booked up continuously by tourists.
Kath Lawless, the council’s assistant director of planning, said there was “a need nationally to look at this issue” as the council was “constrained” by government legislation.
Many global cities have cracked down on Airbnb rentals because of the impact on rents and affordable housing. In Amsterdam, entire home rentals are limited to 60 days a year, and this is set to be halved.
Newcastle is a popular tourist destination and attracts hundreds of hen and stag dos a year. As well as being a more affordable option for tourists, renting out an Airbnb property can be more lucrative for landlords than residential lets – in Manhattan’s Lower East Side, full-time Airbnb listings can earn, on average, two to three times the median long-term rent.
An Airbnb spokesman said: “Whilst we have not received details of any complaints from the council, we have a zero-tolerance approach to anti-social behaviour and permanently remove bad actors from our platform.
“The overwhelming majority of hosts and guests on Airbnb are good neighbours and respectful travellers, and collectively boosted the North East economy by £31 million last year alone.”
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