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Rowdy tenants to be evicted in two weeks and crackdown on Airbnb ‘party flats’

Rishi Sunak also promises to crackdown on Airbnb ‘party flats’ and tackle ‘nuisance’ beggars

Adam Forrest
Political Correspondent
Tuesday 28 March 2023 08:24 BST
Rishi Sunak confronted by angry resident about AirBnB 'hot tubs and karaoke' parties

Landlords will be able to evict any nuisance tenants who cause problems for neighbours or fall behind on rent within two weeks under Rishi Sunak’s plans for a crackdown on antisocial behaviour.

The plans also include a proposed council register of short-term holiday lets amid concerns over Airbnb guests creating “party flats” which disturb neighbours.

The measures to evict problem tenants would cover those who disturb neighbours with loud music, use drugs, damage property or fall behind on rent.

The plan proposes that all private tenancy agreements ban antisocial behaviour, with the eviction notice period to cut from four weeks to a fortnight.

It comes as charities condemned the government’s plan to tackle beggars causing a “nuisance” on Britain’s streets – calling it a “further criminalisation of vulnerable people”.

It suggests new powers for the police and councils could be brought in in relation to rough sleeping “and other street activity where it is causing a public nuisance, such as by obstruction of doorways and pavements, and to clear the debris, tents and paraphernalia that can blight an area”.

But Homeless Link, the national membership body for frontline homelessness services, called the plan a “backwards step” which undermines its commitment to ending rough sleeping in this parliament.

The government is “thrashing around” for votes with its anti-social behaviour plan after years of ignoring victims’ calls for action on the issue, a former watchdog has said.

Dame Vera Baird, who was the Victims’ Commissioner for England and Wales, told The Independent it amounted to “clever ideas that sound good when you say them but it’s hard to understand how it will be implemented”, adding: “I think they are just flying kites thinking it’s a vote-catcher.”

Referencing noise problems, drunken behaviour and disorderly conduct at Airbnb flats, the plan promises the creation of a new registration scheme that would provide councils with the data to identify short-term lets in the local area.

The action plan published by government aims to stop short-term lets “importing anti-social behaviour into communities” allowing councils to “take action against guests and owners”.

Outlining plans at a Q&A in Essex, Mr Sunak was confronted by Jeff Jones – who told the prime minister he is facing problems after his former local pub was turned into an Airbnb flat.

An Airbnb spokesman said parties are banned on its platform, and said it had “long supported the introduction of a national short-term lets register to give authorities better visibility of activity in their area”.

Elsewhere, the government also promised to target the “awful” practice of cuckooing, with plans to make it a new criminal offence.

Cuckooing, where the home of a vulnerable person is taken over and used for illegal activity, has a “serious impact” on victims while also causing anti-social behaviour in communities.

Mr Sunak and Ms Braverman were heckled and told to “go away” during a short walkabout in the town centre in Chelmsford in Essex on Monday.

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