Plan for online Airbnb registrations in Brighton fails

AN ATTEMPT to set up an online registration system for Airbnbs and other short-term rentals has failed after Labor councilors were unable to garner support from other political parties.

The attempt failed when councillors, in response to a government consultation, debated the impact of holiday rentals and short-term rentals on the housing market in Brighton and Hove.

Brighton and Hove City Council is under pressure to build more housing.

Labor Councilor Amanda Evans asked the Council’s Committee on Tourism, Equality, Communities and Culture to support a proposal for the Council to establish a registration system.

She is also asking for a report outlining options for an online registration service to be prepared for the January Committee meeting.

At the meeting last week, Cllr Evans, who represents the community of Queen’s Park, said the roads between St James’s Street and the sea were “crammed” with holiday accommodation.

She said: “We get a lot of complaints from legitimate tourism businesses who have to pay taxes and comply with all sorts of health and safety regulations – and short-term holiday rentals don’t.

“It’s not just individuals who rent out a room a few times a year. There are many professionals engaged in this now who earn a lot of money, don’t pay taxes on it, and also harm our tourism industry.

“There are all sorts of reasons why it’s a problem. It is causing misery and impacting our already crisis-hit housing market.”

Cllr Evans said the registration would help address frustrations about the council’s lack of power to do anything. She said the council must invite the government to act.

The Argus: The matter was discussed at Brighton Town HallThe matter was discussed at Brighton Town Hall

Labor Councilor Alan Robins, former Chair of the Committee on Tourism, Equality, Communities and Culture, advocated a register. He said it would allow operators to show they’ve reached a certain standard.

Cllr Robins was part of a panel a few years ago that looked at the problems surrounding vacation rentals and possible solutions.

He said: “There are people who suffer from these things, people who can’t stay in their homes at the weekend, leave their homes on Friday night and only come back on Monday because they knew something was going to take over their lives.

“It’s been a problem in the city for a long time and we couldn’t get a grip on it. Let’s do the little we can to keep things in perspective.”

Green councilor Marianna Ebel said she had struggled with two “party houses” but felt the council had the “mechanisms” to take action.

She said: “The problem with a voluntary registration system is that the worst offenders would likely not register and it would not give us any additional powers to prosecute.

“I represent a quiet community, but we’ve had issues with party houses. Local residents contacted the environmental health team. I know it’s tedious because they have to collect evidence and keep an event log.

“Ultimately we managed that these two buildings are no longer rented out as holiday apartments.”

Green Councilor Martin Osborne, the committee’s co-chair, said he supports the idea of ​​a registration system but added it should be a state-regulated national system.

He said: “In our response we say we want to go much further with a registration and licensing system and limit the number of vacation rentals in certain locations through planning rules.

“There is an HMO permitting system (house in several professions) that works perfectly. The government does not have to do much for this.”

Cllr Osborne said the largest operator in the vacation rental market, Airbnb, also supports the principle of a national licensing system.

The residents of Argus: Steine ​​Gardens have called for action after several partiesSteine ​​Gardens residents called for action after several parties

Conservative councilor Samer Bagaeen voted with the Greens against the Labor proposals.

The committee agreed to support sending a response to the government’s consultation and provide evidence of the issue.

The Council’s response to the government consultation read: “Housing demand and rising private sector rents are having an adverse impact on housing affordability in the city.

“The lack of affordable housing is having an economic impact on our ability to retain low-income working households and jobs in the city across all sectors.

“With less inventory available and the same (or increasing) number of attempts to access it, this will result in higher market rents being charged. We continue to see advertised rents increasing for most properties.” Plan for online Airbnb registrations in Brighton fails

Fry Electronics Team

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