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Airbnb’s crackdown on Margate for fear it is ‘killing the community’ due to lack of rental properties

One of the UK’s most popular seaside cities is considering a motion that will restrict the number of Airbnbs allowed after locals said it was ‘killing the community’.

Margate in Kent has exploded in popularity with tourists in recent years thanks to its trendy bohemian vibe, and many now call it ‘Shoreditch on Sea’.

But the most attention has come with a huge increase in rental properties, and the area now has more than 300 Airbnb homes.

Permanent residents and councilors now fear that families living in the area are struggling to rent houses because so few are available.

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

Cllr Yates has urged the vacation rental company to repeat what it has done in Greater Manchester and London and introduce a 90-day annual limit for ‘full house rentals on Thanet within the Airbnb platform’.

Margate in Kent has been dubbed 'Shoreditch on Sea' by some due to its recent popularity with tourists (file image)

Margate in Kent has been dubbed ‘Shoreditch on Sea’ by some due to its recent popularity with tourists (file image)

Margate's increased attention from tourists has come with a huge increase in rental properties, and the area now has more than 300 Airbnb homes.

Margate's increased attention from tourists has come with a huge increase in rental properties, and the area now has more than 300 Airbnb homes.

Margate’s increased attention from tourists has come with a huge increase in rental properties, and the area now has more than 300 Airbnb homes.

The Margate labor advisor will present the motion at the next Thanet District Council meeting on Thursday.

He said: ‘This council notes with concern the current issues raised by residents around the growth of Airbnbs on Thanet, especially in relation to the reduction of long-term lettable properties.

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

“This council recognizes that it does not currently have the powers to intervene and regulate these properties, and that this is a problem faced by many local authorities across the country.”

Permanent residents and councilors fear that families living in the area are struggling to rent houses because so few are available.

Permanent residents and councilors fear that families living in the area are struggling to rent houses because so few are available.

Permanent residents and councilors fear that families living in the area are struggling to rent houses because so few are available.

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

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

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

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

He said he wanted to ‘ask the council leader to write to Marie Lorimer, the UK Public Policy Manager at Airbnb, to request a meeting and to proactively seek to introduce a 90-day annual limit for the rental of entire homes in Thanet inside Airbnb ‘. platform’.

He added: ‘Airbnb currently has a block on its platform that does not allow entire Greater London properties to be rented for more than 90 days a year.’

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

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

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

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

Cllr Rob Yates, a Margate Labor councilor, is ready to propose a motion that would introduce permit limits and planning restrictions imposed across the Thanet district.

Cllr Rob Yates, a Margate Labor councilor, is ready to propose a motion that would introduce permit limits and planning restrictions imposed across the Thanet district.

Cllr Rob Yates, a Margate Labor councilor, is ready to propose a motion that would introduce permit limits and planning restrictions imposed across the Thanet district.

This week, there were more than 300 homes available on Airbnb in Margate, 230 in Broadstairs, and 195 in Ramsgate.

The area has become popular in the past five years, in part thanks to the opening of the Turner Contemporary gallery in 2011, comparatively low property prices, and highly praised restaurants.

Even Libertines star Pete Doherty moved there at one point and was seen teasing a mega breakfast at the hip spot, the Dalby Cafe.

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

While there were hundreds of Airbnbs on sale 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 for renters.

Cllr Yates added: ‘Someone who wants to rent their room vacant for Airbnb is not a problem; It’s 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 strengthening communities, and we have reached out to the Thanet Council to offer our support.

‘Across the UK, most hosts share a space in their own home and nearly a third of UK hosts say the extra income is financial support.

“We take housing concerns very seriously and have called for a nationwide registration system to better understand the impact of short-term rental activity on local areas, and an update to the planning guide to empower local authorities “.

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