A campaign group is calling for York to take lessons from cities like Barcelona, Amsterdam and Berlin to tackle the growing number of short-term holiday lets in the city.

The government currently has two proposals to introduce a national registration scheme for short-term lets and to require planning permission for homes to be used as holiday lets in some circumstances.

Meanwhile, York Central MP Rachael Maskell has organised a community consultation to take place on Thursday, May 25 to discuss the proposals with residents.

Furthermore, Action on Short-Term Lets campaign group is fronting a campaign for English councils to have the right to refuse the conversion of entire homes into Airbnbs.

“York is turning into a tourist destination where people can’t afford to live”, said Chris Bailey, its national campaign manager.

“People are being priced out,” he added.

“What happens is that prices go up for people; rents go up and become unaffordable.

“That’s echoed by people in national politics.”


Mr Bailey believes York can learn lessons from capital cities across Europe. 

He said: “We believe local councils need licensing powers to offer communities real control and the opportunity to limit the loss of housing to the short let market. 

“This can be achieved by limits on numbers of licences issued and on the days per year let. This has been shown to work in cities like Barcelona and Amsterdam, so why not in York?

"When Berlin introduced compulsory licensing for short lets and tough penalties for unlicensed lets, thousands of homes were returned to primary residential use as normal longer term lets, as a result helping ease the pressure on accommodation and making it easier for people to find secure long-term homes."

City of York Council was approached for comment, but it did not respond in time for publication.

Previously, however, council leader Cllr Claire Douglas has said that Labour will be “doing what we can to make sure Airbnbs and short term holiday lets aren’t as prolific in the city as they currently are, because really in some areas they are quite dominant.”

Ms Maskell said: “The expansion of short-term holiday lets, and their impact on community life, is an issue of great concern to me and many other residents across the city.”

Her community meeting will be at Southlands Methodist Hall at 6.30pm today (Thursday, May 25) and is open to all.