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Landlord wins praise for offering 'only locals' affordable property in town

A landlord in the Kent seaside town of Whitstable has won plaudits after deciding to rent her rental property to local people, it has been reported.

Trish Neaves (main picture, inset), who has operated within the town as a landlord for 20 years, says she resisted her letting agents’ advice to convert the flat into an airbnb and has instead decided to rent it for £200 a month less than its market value of £1,300 and restrict applicants to those who hail from the area.

60-year-old Neaves, who is a barrister, told local newspaper the Kent Messenger that while the influx of London second home buyers and Airbnb renters in recent years to the fashionable hotspot had been good for local tourism businesses, it has made affordable rented homes scarce for locals.

“I went to lunch with a friend and her whole family has lived in Whitstable for years and she told me her children found it hard as the properties they would have rented are all Airbnbs or second homes,” she told the paper.#

“It seemed to me, as I have properties in Whitstable, it was important local people had the chance.

“I am conscious that this cost-of-living crisis has made a big difference to people, and if it’s a rent that I’m satisfied with and can help people, then I’m happy to do it.”

Neaves has gone much further than the Government, or local councils, have ever dared to go.

So far just Scotland and a handful of tourist town boroughs in England and Wales have raised council tax for second homes and Airbnbs, while the national Government only recently launched a consultation on proposals to bring in a national register of short-term lets and enable councils to use planning laws to stop landlords switching to Airbnbs.

Pic credit: Getty/Trish Neaves


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