Opposition to any Government moves to relax the rules to allow more short-term lets

Posted: 04/04/14

I'm backing Westminster Amenity Societies Forum in opposing any Government moves to relax the rules to allow more short-term lets. Here's my letter to the Minister.

Kris Hopkins
Minister for Housing,
DCLG
Eland House
Bressenden Place
London SW1

Dear Kris,

I have been contacted by the association of the 18 amenity societies in Westminster to ask me to express their concern to you of the growing problem posed by short-term lets in the borough. As you may be aware, Westminster has the largest proportion of its housing stock in the private rented sector of any local authority in the country, so any changes impact disproportionately on us.

The amenity societies (and many individual residents) are strongly of the view that existing legislation should NOT be amended or relaxed in such a way as to encourage the further growth of the short-term rental sector. They are seeking assurances that the current consultation contained within your document "Review of Property Conditions in the Private Rented Sector" (Q22, Page 9) does not lead to any such relaxation in the legislation.

As they point out:

"Short-term letting is causing a major problem for some permanent residents in a number of amenity society areas, particularly in cases where short-term lets are regularly made. There can be real problems of anti-social behavior (and even intimidation), noise, refuse collection problems and similar. Furthermore, short-term lettings remove accommodation for long term lets".

I strongly support this view and trust that the government would not take these proposals further, to the detriment of longer-standing residents in all tenures, who overwhelmingly want both the peaceful enjoyment of their homes, and to live in neighbourhoods with some stability.

Thank you very much and I look forward to receiving your response.

Yours sincerely


Karen Buck MP