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Council warns tenants and leaseholders over Airbnb-style lets

Southwark Council is to write to all tenants and leaseholders of council-owned homes in the borough warning them against advertising their properties on Airbnb and similar websites.

Council warns tenants and leaseholders over Airbnb-style lets
Telford House on the Rockingham Estate

Southwark Council will warn leaseholders that renting out their homes on any short term holiday let websites means they are breaching the conditions of their lease and could face legal action.

The council will be sending the leaflets out with this year's service charge statements that go to all council leaseholders in the borough.

The leaflets emphasise that the lease places conditions on the use and occupation of their property and short term letting constitutes a breach of the lease covenants "not to use or suffer the flat to be used for any purpose other than as a private dwellinghouse" and "not to do or permit or suffer to be done any act or thing which may be or become a nuisance or annoyance to the council or to the Lessees owners or occupiers of adjoining or neighbouring property".

Council tenants will be sent similar leaflets with their rent statements as they would also be breaching their tenancies, but the council has clarified that this does not include lodgers as long as they have written permission.

Cllr Stephanie Cryan, cabinet member for housing, said: "We are aware that a growing number of leaseholders are letting their properties, on a short term basis, through platforms including, but not exclusive to, Airbnb, Housetrip and Gumtree.

"As far as we are concerned our homes are homes, not hotels. We want people in our council homes and on our council estates who are a part of the community, not visitors passing through.

"In addition, noise nuisance, over-occupation and damage to communal areas can all result from the use of properties as short term lets and this can be damaging to local communities.

"We welcome visitors to our borough and we are aware there are circumstances where short term lets are appropriate, but with a growing demand for council homes we cannot tolerate the use of our properties as short term lets."

Earlier this month we reported that Southwark planning officers had refused planning permission for the leaseholder of a council property on the Rockingham Estate who wanted to regularise the use of the flat for short-stay lets.

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