Manchester is to launch an assault on its ‘problem’ short lets market which could include seeking legal advice on whether it can prevent Airbnb-style activities within council properties on a wider scale following a trial at its Brunswick regeneration project.

Its proposals are contained within its new Private Rented Sector Strategy for the next five years, which is due for approval tomorrow by its Executive.

It highlights both the huge increase in short-lets use within the city by tourists but also the growth in professional ‘whole property’ operators.

Manchester council says 75% of the 3,000-strong short-lets listings market locally is offered via Airbnb and that half are whole properties.

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Anti-social

The city’s upmarket central short-lets present only minor anti-social behaviour and waste issues and are generally well managed, and it is the  short-lets in less glamorous areas that are a growing problem.

This includes a small but significant ‘HMO model’ short-term lets market focused in Moss Side and Rusholme, “where multiple guests separately rent individual rooms within a property despite clear issues with safety, quality and management in some instances”, the report says.

“This portion of the short-term lettings market has generated a growing number of problems for residents nearby linked to poor waste management practices, noise and anti-social behaviour as well as, in some instances, criminal activity which has damaged the reputation of the city.”

The council says these issues are exacerbated by the fact that in many cases entire home short-term lettings are taking family homes out of the mainstream market.

Manchester is to seek legal advice on whether it can prevent properties on council-owned land being used for short lets via restrictive covenants within leases a freehold transfers.

Read more about Airbnb.

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