Airbnb denies turning York suburbs into ‘Wild West

AIRBNB has denied turning residential areas of York into the ‘Wild West’ – and backed an MP’s call for regulations to govern short-term holiday lets.

York Central MP Rachael Maskell said that during a string of visits to residential areas of York over Easter, she met with ‘despairing’ residents who no longer felt safe in their neighbourhoods and were living next to endless parties, depriving them of sleep.

She claimed a full licensing scheme for Airbnb schemes was needed to stop the growth of such cheaper holiday venues, which were increasingly being used for hen and stag parties and turning communities into the wild west.

Asked to respond to her comments by The Press, the company said yesterday it had not received any complaints to investigate in York and had contacted the MP’s office to offer its support.

A spokesperson said Airbnb had previously been incorrectly named and linked to issues that had happened through other platforms.

“Without cases to look into, there’s no evidence the concerns raised are linked specifically to Airbnb stays and not bookings made elsewhere,” they said.

They said Airbnb had implemented a number of measures to crackdown on antisocial behaviour, and hosts could cancel reservations penalty-free if they reasonably believed that a guest intended to hold an unauthorised party or event.

“Parties are banned on Airbnb, and we have zero tolerance for anti-social behaviour – having already removed or suspended more than 1,000 UK listings as part of a crackdown on so-called ‘party houses.’ “

The spokesperson added that Airbnb had long led calls for short-term lets rules to be introduced, and last week had called on the Government to accelerate its planned consultation on a tourism accommodation register.