Airbnb to work with councils to reveal tenancy fraudsters

Airbnb to work with councils to reveal tenancy fraudsters


ouncil tenants who illegally sub-let their houses on Airbnb are at larger threat of being uncovered after a landmark courtroom ruling.

The net rental agency has agreed to share monetary data with Kensington and Chelsea council after the Excessive Court docket accepted a system that eliminated the danger of each side inadvertently breaching GDPR knowledge safety guidelines.

The case arose after council officers grew to become involved that flats in blocks such because the Trellick Tower have been being supplied on Airbnb for short-term lets.

The brand new guidelines apply to 2 estates in north Kensington however may pave the way in which for wider collaboration throughout Kensington and Chelsea – and probably allow Airbnb to share comparable particulars with different native authorities in search of to crack down on tenancy fraud.

The courtroom order will enable Airbnb to share with council fraud investigators the addresses of any properties within the two estates listed on its web site – and particulars of any funds acquired for letting them out.

Throughout the UK, it’s unlawful to sub-let social housing on Airbnb.

Kim-Taylor Smith, Kensington and Chelsea’s lead member for housing, stated: “There’s a large demand for social housing in our borough and it’s merely not truthful that folks in real want are being denied a spot to name house as a result of others are illegally subletting their council properties to make cash.

“Tenancy fraud shouldn’t be a victimless crime. It prices the general public purse a median of £42,000 a yr for every house and this welcome collaboration with Airbnb will assist us to clamp down on it in our borough.”

Theo Lomas, head of presidency relations for Northern Europe at Airbnb, stated: “We need to work with councils to take away social housing. Nevertheless the present scenario is complicated and expensive, and requires a courtroom order to keep away from breaking GDPR guidelines.

“That is one more instance of the necessity for the UK to replace its guidelines and introduce a single registration system, so authorities have the data they should sort out unhealthy actors and return housing to these in want.”

Previous to the pandemic, Kensington and Chelsea had greater than 2,500 houses out there on Airbnb – probably the most of any London borough aside from Westminster – and greater than 800 rooms.

The legislation was modified in 2015 to permit short-term lets for as much as 90 days a yr with out the necessity for planning permission.

However issues have arisen about anti-social behaviour and a knock-on scarcity of houses for native residents.

Earlier this month, the Scottish Authorities allowed Edinburgh metropolis council to limit short-term lets by requiring all new landlords to acquire planning permission.

The transfer by Kensington and Chelsea council is a part of a wider crackdown on social housing fraud. There are greater than 3,000 individuals on its housing ready checklist.

Final month the council recovered 4 council houses from fraudsters, together with a one-bedroom flat in Ladbroke Grove that was being sub-let to 3 tenants every paying £850 a month.

In one other case, the tenant of a three-bedroom house in Knightsbridge was discovered to have lived in Turkey for the final two years.

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