Airbnb host fined £100,000 for letting council flat

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An Airbnb host who rented out his central London council flat to vacationers has been fined £100,000 and evicted.

Council tenant Toby Harman, 37, created the pretend id “Lara” on Airbnb to lease out his studio house.

The flat, in Victoria, had been marketed since 2013 and acquired greater than 300 critiques, Westminster City Council mentioned.

Anti-fraud software program had discovered Harman’s first title in critiques and linked the itemizing to him.

Harman’s financial institution statements confirmed he had been receiving funds from Airbnb for quite a lot of years.

He had been taken to courtroom and, after a failed enchantment, evicted and ordered to pay £100,974 in illegal earnings, the Times reported.

Airbnb instructed BBC News the council property itemizing had been faraway from its web site earlier this 12 months.

“We regularly remind hosts to check and follow local rules – including on subsidised housing – and we take action on issues brought to our attention,” mentioned a spokeswoman.

“Airbnb is the only platform that works with London to limit how often hosts can share their space and we support proposals from the mayor of London for a registration system to help local authorities regulate short-term lets and ensure rules are applied equally to hosts on all platforms in the capital.”

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The London Airbnb market has quadrupled since 2015

Westminster Council mentioned it was at present investigating not less than 1,500 properties within the borough for short-term letting.

“Social housing is there to provide much-needed homes for our residents, not to generate illicit profits for dishonest tenants,” the council’s Andrew Smith mentioned.

“It’s unlawful for council tenants to sublet their houses and we feature out tenancy checks, in addition to monitoring short-term letting web sites for any potential unlawful sublets.

“Along with a six-figure illegal revenue order, by getting a possession order, we are able to now reallocate the property to somebody in real want of a house.

“We’re also pressing government to introduce a national registration scheme to make it far easier for us to take action against anyone who breaks the rules on short-term letting.”

London’s Airbnb market has quadrupled since 2015, from 20,000 to 80,000 listings.

One of the most well-liked areas for Airbnb listings within the nation is Shoreditch, significantly the realm round Brick Lane.

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