City 'flooded by brothels and stag parties thanks to Airbnb surge'

Our city is being flooded by pop-up brothels and stag parties thanks to a surge in Airbnb and short-term lets, the people of Cambridge say

Cambridge council chiefs have flagged major concerns the university city is being flooded by pop-up brothels and stag parties thanks to a surge in Airbnb short term lets.

Councillors in the historic city have voted in favour of new measures giving greater control of short-term lets as fed-up locals call for a crackdown on the rowdy behaviour.

Critics say that the city is being overrun by stag weekends and hen parties which they put down to the number of short-term lets available. 

They also feel that the city on the River Cam is being mobbed by second home-owners.

Concerns about the number of homes being used as Airbnbs and holiday homes were raised at a Cambridge City Council meeting, Cambridgeshire Live reports.

Cambridge council chiefs have flagged major concerns the university city is being flooded by pop-up brothels and stag parties thanks to a surge in Airbnb short term lets

Liberal Democrats councillor Karen Young called on fellow councillors to back her motion as she fights for the government to introduce more regulation in light of complaints she received from locals.

The councillor, who was elected in May, said: ‘There is an enormous amount of stress for residents, affecting their quality of life, by the existence of short-term letting in the city.

Liberal Democrats councillor Karen Young said the amount of short-term lets in Cambridge were causing ‘an enormous amount of stress for residents’

‘People are residents for such a short time – they are not invested in being good neighbours and building good relations with those living next door.

‘This means unrestrained behaviour with parties, noise and rudeness to neighbours.’ 

Cllr Young also argued that ‘rogue landlords’ who flout space and safety requirements are ‘disturbing the peace of the neighbourhood’.

She set tourists are then left with ‘unsuitable accommodation’ while homes are taken out of ‘the long-term housing market’.

Naomi Bennett, of the Green Party, backed Cllr Young as she warned that homes were being ‘let to a stag party or what appears to be a pop-up brothel or worse’.

Labour Councillor Katie Thornburrow, from the council’s ruling party, said the authority was the first outside of London to successfully defend an appeal against enforcement of a short-term let.

The councillors agreed on an amended motion to work on tackling these problems and lobby MPs for tougher powers. 

Cambridge is not alone in its feelings towards Airbnb and short-term lets. 

Homes in Cambridge were being ‘let to a stag party or what appears to be a pop-up brothel’

Cambridge is not alone in its sentiments towards short-term holiday lets – a nearly 30-mile stretch of the Norfolk coastline has voted against second homes

Residents in hotspots such as Cornwall and the Peak District have complained that short-term private holiday lets have had a significantly detrimental impact on their communities, with second homes lying vacant for much of the year. 

Meanwhile towns and villages along the north Norfolk coast have imposed curbs following public votes, such as limiting newbuilds to those using them as principal properties.

Earlier this month, two more locations – Old Hunstanton and Wells – announced they were planning to go to the people to ask if they want to crack down on the invasion of outsiders snapping up weekend homes and investors buying lucrative rental properties.

READ MORE: Forget the Airbnb – you can now camp on Bournemouth beach: Council accused of ‘giving tourists the green light’ to pitch their tents by the sea after officials axed crackdown plans – amid fears others will follow suit

If approved, most of the coastline between Heacham and Blakeney would have clauses written into their Neighbourhood Plans – which must be taken into account by planning authorities – limiting who can buy into the area.

Analysis has suggested one in every four homes is used for Airbnb in some parts of England.

Airbnb has soared in popularity since homeowners first started renting out their properties with the online service in around 2009.

It has coincided with a boom in the domestic travel industry, with holidaymakers opting to stay in the UK. 

But there have also been occasions where renters have held parties, in contravention of Airbnb policies.

Earlier this year, an Airbnb spokesman told MailOnline: ‘Parties are banned on Airbnb and our industry-leading prevention technology blocked more than 84,000 people in the UK from making certain unwanted bookings last year.

‘Our 24/7 hotline for neighbours means anyone can contact us directly about a concern with a listing and we investigate and take action.

‘We are committed to being good partners to local communities in the UK, and have long supported the introduction of a national short-term lets register to give authorities better visibility of activity in their area.’

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