I remember reading in this forum about other people who have experienced problems with AirBnB (other short term let companies are available). Has anyone found any London or Southwark wide groups looking at the problem? or any petitions on this topic?
Or does anyone have other suggestions of things we can do constructively about this issue.
We have had problem locally and I understand there's little the Council can do as no way of proving more than 90 nights usage in a year (which I understand is the only rule). And the noise nuisance people can only get involved if and when there's amplified music. The police can only get involved where laws are being broken.
Sophie, if itís council property it is against the law for the property to be used as Airbnb. You will need to contact council and they will act. If itís private property then I think you will need to fall back on the Law. Maybe get together with other neighbours to tackle the problem.
@Rimby @ Jules 62 It's privately owned. Sold to the current owner about 12-18 months ago. I think it used to be a Grainger property so I suspect that there's nothing in the right-to-buy related rules that would apply.
Many of the other neighbours were impacted by this particular incident so there's quite a lot of people who'd like to solve the problem but it's hard to identify what we can actually do.
@SophieLondon - Southwark council is unique in that they have forbidden right to buy properties to be used for short term letting, so it is worth persuing. Drop me a message if you like, and I'll see if I can help.
Isnít it Airbnbís responsibility to police the 90 day limit? Isnít there a calendar for the property in question showing rental days/open dates on the Airbnb site? If. You can count up 90+ days on the Airbnb site then I would notify Airbnb as a first step. If the property used several booking sites it might be harder as youíll have to search for where else the property is listed. In any case Iíd start doing screen grabs of the calendar(s) so you have evidence of a violation for whatever future action youíd take. If you can establish 90+ days you can always consult a lawyer. In our building we fought a long and costly battle against an Airbnb flat and won including 100% of court costs. If itís any use we used Andrew Brookes at Anthony Gold law practice and he did a brilliant job of navigating our case which Iím sorry to say was different from your situation.
We let out our two-bed flat to a gentleman through an estate agent and went through the normal referencing process etc, which he passed. It later transpired that he was sub-letting the flat on Airbnb (without our knowledge). He used a number of techniques to disguise that it was our flat, including subletting it through an acquaintance (i.e. different to our tenant) and using stock photos from other flats in the development!
Anyway, I got in touch with Airbnb, and it was such a difficult experience. For a start, although you can "report" a flat - there is no option for instances where a flat is being sublet without an owner's permission (most ASTs forbid this). I spoke to three different people (all based abroad), and honestly, they were not the brightest and could not understand the situation. It was almost as if this was the first time they had such an occurrence (when if you look online it's pretty common). They just told me that I would need to take it up directly with my tenant and that there was nothing they could do. In my view Airbnb are complicit in all of this because they just show wilful ignorance. Unlike advertising on the likes of Zoopla, you don't need to prove you own the property or have the right to sublet it. Airbnb claim they don't want to be caught up in this.
As for the 90 day rule - that is a joke and it doesn't take much to 'reset' the counter. Again, Airbnb will know which flats are violating this but again do nothing about it as long as they are making money. Unfortunately, along with the likes of Uber, such portals are becoming so popular that most people are willing to turn a blind eye to these transgressions. After all, recall all the uproar there was when Uber's licence was suspended in London after it was found guilty of not complying with regulations. I honestly don't know who has the resources to take on these multibillion dollar conglomerates. Not local councils for sure!