Government plans to allow Westminster property owners to let out their flats to tourists without getting planning permission will drain the life out of the West End, turn many West End mansion blocks in to short stay hotels and lead to a further erosion of Westminster’s residential basis , as well causing problems for existing long stay residents.
According to Housing minister Kris Hopkins MP: “London is a holiday hotspot, with thousands of people visiting every year looking for somewhere comfortable and convenient to stay. Yet the capital’s homeowners get tangled in red tape each time they look to offer their homes. This, and the wide range of property websites offering opportunities to advertise homes for rent, makes this law increasingly outdated and unworkable.”
Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg, Leader of the Labour Group, said;
“The illegal use of family homes as short stay holiday lets is a big issue in Westminster’s mansion blocks – especially in the West End, down the Edgware Road and in Bayswater – where the Council has been trying to crack down on illegal short-term lets. Of course, landlords can make big money by letting out flats to tourists. But long-term residents are already suffering from short-stay visitors damaging common parts and dumping rubbish on the street, as well as damaging the residential environment. Illegal short term holidays lets are also reducing the number of homes available to genuine residents and opening up a free-for-all will add to the current housing crisis. Making it easier for property owners to profit from short term lets will drain the life out of the West End”.