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Councils slam Airbnb and for allowing illegal sublets

Multiple councils have hit out at housing platforms Airbnb and for failing to crack down on illegal social housing sublets, The Guardian reports.

Social tenants are moving out of properties and subletting them, at a time when there’s major shortages of council or housing association homes.

In one case, a tenant advertised his housing association property for £4,000 week, having never lived in the home, according to campaign group the Tenancy Fraud Forum.

Katrina Robinson, its chair and a housing association lawyer, said: “I recently reported an illegal sublet to Airbnb and explained it was a criminal offence, but they refused to remove the listing and told me to talk to the host.

“Airbnb puts profit before conscience.”

In another, The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea was forced to take court action against Airbnb after that platform refused to remove illegal listings, spending around £20,000 in the process.

The council said Airbnb failed to share data with them, despite it being the case that personal data can be shared for law enforcement, under the Data Protection Act. Islington council raised frustrations at the Airbnb’s apparent inability to comply with the act.

It’s a similar story with, which failed to remove a listing for an illegal sublet in London’s Notting Hill, where tenants were coming and going day and night. would eventually suspend the listing pending an investigation, telling The Guardian: “The complaint by Notting Hill Genesis does not appear to have been escalated through our correct internal channels, which potentially resulted in a delay.”

Airbnb added “issues are rare and we take appropriate action where concerns are raised”.