Airbnb crackdown in Margate for fear of ‘killing the community’ over lack of rental housing

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One of the UK’s most popular seaside towns is considering a motion that will limit the number of Airbnbs allowed after locals said it was “killing the community”.

Margate in Kent has exploded in popularity with holidaymakers in recent years thanks to its trendy bohemian vibe, with many now nicknamed “Shoreditch on Sea”.

But the increased attention has been accompanied by a huge increase in rental accommodation, with the region now boasting over 300 Airbnb homes.

Permanent residents and councilors now fear that families living in the area will find it difficult to rent houses because there are so few available.

Thanet District Councilor Rob Yates has proposed a motion that would introduce rental limits and planning restrictions imposed across Thanet District, which also covers popular Broadstairs and Ramsgate.

Cllr Yates urged the vacation rental company to repeat what it has done in Greater Manchester and London and introduce a 90-day annual limit for “renting entire homes in Thanet within the platform Airbnb “.

Margate, Kent has been nicknamed ‘Shoreditch on Sea’ by some due to its recent popularity with holidaymakers (stock photo)

Along with Margate's increased attention from vacationers has been a huge increase in rental accommodation, with the region now boasting over 300 Airbnb homes.

Along with Margate’s increased attention from holidaymakers has been a huge increase in rental accommodation, with the region now boasting over 300 Airbnb homes.

The Margate union adviser will present the motion at the next Thanet District Council meeting on Thursday.

He said: “This council notes with concern the lingering concerns raised by residents regarding the growth of Airbnbs in Thanet, particularly with regard to the downsizing of long-term rental properties.

“We welcome the majority of visitors to Thanet, who make a significant contribution to our economy, but we hear the concerns of residents and want to take action to control this serious issue that is hurting our community and Airbnb’s reputation.

“This council recognizes that it currently does not have the authority to intervene and regulate these properties, and that this is an issue facing many local authorities across the country.”

Permanent residents and councilors fear families living in the area will struggle to rent homes because there are so few available

Permanent residents and councilors fear families living in the area will struggle to rent homes because there are so few available

While there were over 300 homes in Margate available on Airbnb, there were only 15 rental homes on RightMove.

While there were over 300 homes in Margate available on Airbnb, there were only 15 rental homes on RightMove.

He also said council should consider introducing change-of-use planning restrictions that would mean a property would have to be approved by council to operate as a short-term rental.

He said he wanted to “ask the head of the board to write to Marie Lorimer, UK public policy manager at Airbnb, to request a meeting and seek to proactively introduce a 90-day annual limit for the rental of entire houses in Thanet within Airbnb. Platform ‘.

He added: “Airbnb currently has a lock on its platform that does not allow entire properties in Greater London to be rented more than 90 days a year.”

The measure was introduced in London five years ago to free up properties for people looking to rent permanently in the area.

Data from Visit Kent shows there were 1,089 active rentals in Margate with 373% rental growth between 2016 and 2019 (stock photo)

Data from Visit Kent shows there were 1,089 active rentals in Margate with 373% rental growth between 2016 and 2019 (stock photo)

Cllr Rob Yates, union adviser for Margate, is expected to bring forward a motion that would introduce rental limits and planning restrictions imposed across Thanet District.

Cllr Rob Yates, union adviser for Margate, is expected to bring forward a motion that would introduce rental limits and planning restrictions imposed across Thanet District.

This week there were over 300 listings available on Airbnb in Margate, 230 in Broadstairs and 195 in Ramsgate.

The area has grown in popularity over the past five years, in part thanks to the opening of the Turner Contemporary gallery in 2011, relatively low real estate prices and popular restaurants.

Even Libertines star Pete Doherty moved in there at one point and was seen making fun of a mega-breakfast at the local hot spot, the Dalby Cafe.

Data from Visit Kent shows that there were 1,089 active rentals in Margate with rent growth of 373% between 2016 and 2019.

While there were hundreds of Airbnbs on offer this week, according to RightMove, there were only 15 rental properties available in Margate.

By comparison, Tonbridge, which had the fewest Airbnb properties in all of Kent, had 36 properties available to renters.

Cllr Yates added, “Someone wanting to rent their spare room for Airbnb is not a problem; these are people who buy properties and then rent everything on Airbnb.

“They are not part of the Margate community, they are using Margate as an investment opportunity.”

An Airbnb spokesperson said: “Airbnb is built on helping people pay for their homes and building communities and we have reached out to Thanet’s council to offer our support.

“Across the UK, the majority of hosts share space in their own home and almost a third of UK hosts say the extra income is an economic lifeline.

“We take housing issues seriously and have called for a nationwide registration system to better understand the impact of short-term rental activities on local areas, and updated planning guidelines for empower local authorities. “

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