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Battle over holiday lets hots up as campaigning MP holds meeting

maskell airbnb

The increasingly rancourous debate between Airbnb landlords and legislators will come to a head in York this week as the city's MP convenes a public meeting to discuss the growing problem of short lets within its walls.

MP Rachel Maskell (main picture) is one of six mostly Labour MPs sponsoring an Early Day Motion in the parliament that would establish a Short Term Holiday Let Licencing Scheme across England and is also behind moves to use planning laws to regulate them.

They are calling on the Government to:

  • Bring forward legislation to allow local authorities to introduce local licensing schemes to determine standards and place limits on short term holiday lets;
  • Allow local authorities to determine the terms for holding a license including the license fee, health and safety standards, terms of operation, and penalties for those in breach of licensing terms including fines and termination of licenses;
  • Empower local authorities to determine areas where the granting of new short term holiday let licenses will be restricted.

Ministers in England have been paying attention and on April 23rd launched two consultations – one on planning and the other on a registration scheme - to try and balance the needs of local businesses serving the ‘staycation’ sector and the ‘hollowing out’ problems too many Airbnb properties can cause for local communities.

York is one of the battlefronts along with Edinburgh and many English and Welsh coastal and rural hotspots such as the Lake District.

Maskell recently revealed that there are some 2,000 Airbnbs operating within York and is urging everyone including Airbnb landlords to contribute to the Government’s consultation.

She believes Airbnb or short-lets must be curbed both in York and across the nation, saying that she was “determined to see the law change over Short Term Holiday Lets and these two Government consultations are the next step of the journey”.

Her meeting takes place on Thursday 25th at 6.30pm at Southlands Methods Church in York.

Picture credit: Labour Party/Rachel Maskell


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