Westminster Council charter to tackle noise from nightly lets

Many homeowners – particularly in areas popular with tourists – let their homes for a few nights or weeks to make some extra money. Most of the time this works for both visitors and homeowners. However, in some cases casual lets can cause noise and nuisance problems for neighbours. Earlier this year, the problem was highlighted in Liverpool, where student accommodation is now let to summer party people. This led councillors to pass a motion supporting a 90 day limit on short term lets. The MP for Westminster North, Karen Buck, says the number of properties for let there rose from 1603 in 2015 to 3621 in 2017, and is also calling for better controls. While there is a 90 day limit for short term lets in London, she says this is difficult for councils to enforce and wants to see national regulation.

In a bid to tackle the problem, Westminster Council launched a Housing Standards Task force last December who are investigating nightly lets suspected to be in breach of the 90 day rule. Now, they have also published a Considerate Nightly Letting Charter, that advisors  owneres of nightly lets how to stay within the law, avoid neighbour noise and other problems ansd maintain a good relationship with neighbours. The charter has been drafted in partnership with the UK Short Term Accommodation Association, whose members include Airbnb.

All environmental and planning laws that apply to nightly lets is set out. It also gives guidance for landlords, building owners and guests to ensure no noise problems are caused for neighbours, including:

  • Provide a Code of Conduct for your guests, which should include and promote mindfulness of neighbours. For example, remind guests not to knock on neighbour’s doors or buzz them to provide access to the communal areas, and to keep noise to a minimum, particularly outside of daytime hours.
  • Notify your neighbours that you will have guests, and provide them with a contact number should any issues arise.
  • Ensure a ‘no party policy’ and require guests to notify you of any additional guests who will be present beyond those who have booked your home.

Noise Action Week provides a great opportunity for councils to raise awareness of the potential for nightly lets to cause noise and nuisance problems. the week can be used to remind those who rent out their homes of thier responsibilities.

You can full guidance from Westminster City Council here.

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