York MP Rachael Maskell is bidding to bring in new laws to regulate Airbnb, after it has brought ‘misery and disruption’ to the city.
Ms Maskell is launching her Airbnb and Holidays Lets Licensing clause with the support of a broad range of MPs across parties.
It would require Airbnb or short-term let holiday properties to be licensed, and would enable councils to limit or deny licenses in areas with an acute shortage of housing for local people.
If successful, her new clause would be added to the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill.
In York, it is estimated that there are more than 2,000 properties listed as short-term rentals, 85% of which are for entire homes – while almost 1,000 people in the city are on the council’s list waiting for a home.
And the Labour MP says Airbnb has been dubbed a ‘money machine’, following findings that landlords in London can make over £10,000 more per month by renting on Airbnb rather than providing a long term home.
Real risk to the city
Ms Maskell said: “Failure to act on this issue is adding to the daily misery of families who can’t find a home and are finding themselves forced out of their local areas, as housing supply tightens and rents.”
The Scottish and Welsh governments have brought in regulations to curb the expansion of this market, “putting power back in the hands of local people”.
“We know that in some tourist hotspots over 50% of homes are now short term holiday lets, and there are little signs of this slowing down.
“We urgently need to get a grip on this situation before it is too late, but all we get out of the Government is consultation and prevarication.
“As things stand, in a city like York where there is so much planned development, there is a real risk that investors will flip most new homes straight to short term lets.
“And despite the city of York’s eye-watering investment in the site, York Central will just become another Airbnb Central.
“Talking to constituents, I also know the concentration of these properties in some communities is causing serious misery and disruption, and yet as things stand local people are powerless to do anything about it.”
Her proposed licensing scheme would give “local communities the power to take control of the situation” and councils “the power they need to regulate the holiday lets, allowing them to sanction or even close down nuisance properties that are causing community disruption”.
Ms Maskell has secured cross-party support from ten MPs who have co-signed the new clause.