Councils should have the power to regulate properties used for Airbnb and similar services, say Lib Dem Councillors ahead of a debate in Bath next Thursday, 12th July.
The call comes after the Labour group in Bath voiced their support for changes in the law last month, which would see restrictions imposed on the short-term letting of whole residential properties.
Councillor Will Sandry (Lib Dem, Oldfield) said: “Excessive noise, anti-social behaviour, and dumped rubbish are some of the annoyances which the so-called ‘party houses’ have inflicted on neighbours. But the problems go even further.
“This boom in informal visitor accommodation has meant people looking to rent a home in Bath have fewer options available to them.
“The licensed hotel and guest house trade is also being damaged, as these competitors don’t have to face the same costs.
“It’s time the government acted and gave Councils the powers to properly control these properties. We are suggesting following the successful HMO model using planning permission for change of use and licensing to improve safety.
The proposals would mean that a property could only be used for short term lettings on platforms like AirBnB for a maximum of 90 days each year without planning permission.
Cllr Sandry continued: “We’d also like consideration given to larger scale operations being brought into the business rates system.
“At the moment there are few protections in place for visitors. A more controlled approach would improve standards and benefit professional hosts, while exemptions could be put in place for those who only occasionally rent a room.”
The Liberal Democrat councillors will also request that licensing for short term holiday lets is introduced, as it has been with small HMOs, to improve safety and quality for visitors and to benefit neighbours.