Westminster Council has created a new Housing Standards Task force which is investigating hundreds of properties throughout the borough, and shutting down those which are engaged in unlawful nightly letting.
Currently the law allows property owners to let their property online for up to 90 nights per calendar year, however there have been a bevy of complaints across Westminster against many businesses and residences. Residents who abuse the 90 night rule have been listed as landlords illegally listing their apartments on Air-BNB for noisy parties or deliberate overcrowding by renting illegally, renting small properties to large families; sex workers using nightly rentals for illicit liaisons and estate agents using nightly subletting to take apartments off the market. A council spokesman has accused these citizens of having “little or no vested interest in their neighbours” and who reportedly formed the task force in response to “a high level of complaints about noise, anti-social behaviour, and issues of waste.”
With thousands of properties in Westminster being let for short periods of time, such as nightly, the task force is currently investigating hundreds of properties to make sure they are nightly letting within the law. The task force will also be speaking to property owners and surrounding residents to ensure they understand the rules.