Mark Field MP, Cllr Acton, WCC officers, residents’ representatives and I recently visited Brandon Lewis, the Housing Minister, to ask for protection against industrial-scale holiday letting in Westminster. Nobody minds homeowners earning a bit extra through AirBnB and other short letting websites. However, when this activity takes over a whole block on a regular basis, the turnover of people, noise and refuse disposal problems can be overwhelming for neighbours. They feel their neighbourhood has turned into a badly managed hotel district. The high rents short letters can charge drive out long term owners and tenants, making London’s housing shortage worse.
We would like AirBnB and the other letting platforms to notify WCC when short lets begin, so we can tell if the 90-day limit is being exceeded. WCC is also looking for other enforcement powers against those abusing short lets. Cllr Acton has followed up by letter and the minister is expected to discuss the proposals with his officials in the near future.