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More than 100 apartments in a London block are under investigation for being let out illegally, in a dramatic illustration of the potential of Airbnb and other short-term rental platforms to disrupt city life. Westminster City Council says it has reason to believe that 106 of the 530 flats in Park West, a mansion block near Hyde Park in central London, are being used as short-term rentals rather than residential accommodation. Residents say they feel like they are living in a hotel, rather than an apartment building.Full/source article
Vanessa Warwick Landlord and Co-Founder of PropertyTribes.com **If you have got value from Property Tribes, find out how you can support it in remaining a free to use community resource**
I'm not signed up for FT, but I can imagine how nasty it would be with random people coming and going at all hours who you will never know as neighbours, even by sight.
It will be interesting to see how Air BnB type businesses succeed but for L/H premises I don't think they're good for those forced to live around them.I just did a search on the block you mentioned and came across a company Staylike Ltd that appears to rent out similar apartments around London via Air BnB. I thought Air BnB was for individuals renting out their own home, not companies using it as a platform for their advertising? I hope the authorities get a grip on this sort of rental as it's not fair on those that still live in the block.
Buy-to-let landlords in London are being encouraged by property management firms to break strict short-term letting laws in the capital, an undercover BBC investigation has found.
An increasing number of buy-to-let landlords in London are now using short-term letting platforms like Airbnb to rent out property, but some are abusing the existing legislation that permit homes to be rented out short-term for up to 90 days a year with consent from the local authority.
Some companies were secretly recorded explaining methods to get around the tough rules.These firms are “misleading” landlords, according to housing lawyer David Smith.
He commented: “They are misinforming and misleading the people they are dealing with by suggesting to them that what they are doing is not unlawful.
“It is and it should stop.”Full/source article
An incident like this could wipe out years of profit and destroy a SA business, especially if you did not have the correct insurance.Terrified neighbours, who witnessed the carnage, said they feared their homes would be attacked and told how they frantically dialled 999 on several occasions but were forced to wait up to 40 minutes before armed police arrived on Saturday.
The short term rental, reserved on accommodation website Booking.com, was made by a woman for her 16-year-old daughter. The girl then told friends, via Snapchat, she was hosting a party there that night.
In a sinister twist, the letters 'SSH' - understood to stand for 'Short Strand Hoods' - were daubed on a wall inside the trashed building, while blood stains were also found on floors and other surfaces.
At one point, up to 40 youths aged between 16 and 18 were seen scaling the railings to gain entry to the accommodation, which is normally let to corporate clients, foreign guests or tourists.
The apartment manager William, who looks after several properties and did not wish his surname to be used, said it was "a shocking and mindless attack" that has made him reconsider whether to continue to offer short term lets.Kieran Smyth, boss of Charterhouse Property Management, which runs the apartments, said it was an alarming incident. "Short term letting through these agencies are causing widespread concern with people who own apartments in Northern Ireland," he said.Full/source article
From the Telegraph:Travellers seeking a bargain room on online rentals service Airbnb are facing an onslaught of rogue listings from a “subscription service for scammers”, which lets fraudsters juggle 500 fake ads and 100 unsuspecting victims with ease.
Holidaymakers are attractive targets, with victims losing an average of £1,400 each to scams last year, according to reporting centre Action Fraud. One in four cases involved accommodation, and with two million people staying in host homes on any given night, Airbnb is a honeypot for fraudsters.Full/source article
Cheryl Roux knew she was in trouble when the door of her £5m home in Knightsbridge, central London, was answered by a “little old Indian lady”.
The former wife of Michelin-starred chef Albert Roux had rushed back from a holiday in Australia last year to investigate why her new tenant — who was neither female nor Indian — had not paid the deposit or first month’s rent of £25,000.
“I asked her who she was and she said she had rented the property online, paying £5,500 for six days,” said Roux. “It was then that I experienced a sinking feeling. I realised I had been caught up in a scam.”Full/source article