Westminster Council is cracking down on property owners unlawfully letting their homes on a nightly basis using platforms such as Airbnb for more than ninety days per year. Airbnb lettings in Westminster have more than doubled in the last two years to over 3,600 and rising with nearly 1,500 of these being investigated for unauthorized short term letting instead of on a minimum six months AST contract.
Conservative leader of Westminster Council, Cllr Nickie Aiken, said “I’m calling on the Government to introduce a new tax on nightly letting as local tax payers unfairly bear the burden of our related council services and activities. I know there are many who legitimately and responsibly let out their homes for under 90 nights a year to make some extra money. However, some people treat this as an entirely commercial enterprise, letting their property out for one or two nights at a time all year round, with little or no thought to the wider community. It is quite simple. Ninety days must mean just that. Companies must take responsibility for some of the unintended consequences of their business model, which is causing misery in pockets of ours and other cities across the world.”