Tenant let council flat on Airbnb

A cheeky not to mention criminal tenant has been hit with a massive fine after subletting his council flat through Airbnb.

Toby Harman had received over 300 online reviews for the property before Westminster City Council rumbled him.

Naturally, they took him to court where he was made subject to an unlawful profits order which came to a total of £100,974.94. He even tried to appeal, despite some of the reviews thanking him by name for his advice and knowledge of local restaurants.

Funnily enough, he’s now been evicted.

The council says it has set up a specialist council team to tackle abuses of short-term lettings and is currently investigating more than 1,500 properties in Westminster alone!

It wants the government to introduce a compulsory cross-platform registration scheme for property owners, so councils know what properties are being short term let and for how long.

Cllr Andrew Smith, the Council Cabinet Member for Housing Services, said: ‘Social housing is there to provide much-needed homes for our residents, not to generate illicit profits for dishonest tenants. It’s illegal for council tenants to sublet their homes and we carry out tenancy checks, as well as monitoring short-term letting websites for any potential illegal sublets.

‘Along with a six-figure unlawful profit order by getting a possession order, we can now reallocate the property to someone in genuine need of a home.

‘We’re also pressing government to introduce a national registration scheme to make it far easier for us to take action against anyone who breaks the rules on short term letting.'