London host ordered to repay over £100k profits

A London host, well ex-London host now, has been ordered by a court to repay over £100k alleged profits for illegally renting out a local authority property on Airbnb. He was also evicted from the property.




Morning John,

I heard this on The Today Programme this morning. Ouch, yes, but about bloody time. Council flats/properties are a scarce resource, particularly in London.

I’m really glad to hear of a Local Authority investing their scant resources in tracking down such people, bringing them to Court and evicting them. I sincerely hope more do!

Rant over…


Yes, you’re right Joan, especially in scenarios like this - using social housing stock to make a profit is completely wrong. Since the “right to buy” legislation was passed, social housing stock has been reduced significantly and, in so many areas across the UK, simply isn’t available for those who it was intended for and those who need it most.



Narky bugger got what he deserves!


£200k would be fine by me, what is wrong with people.


When I was speaking to our local revenue office about a question I had on lodging tax calculation, I asked how many STR permits my county had issued. These permits have been legally required since December 31, 2016 and come with a variety of restrictions – primary residence, limit on number of occupants, etc.
“Over 200,” the staffer replied.
There are over 1,000 active Airbnb listings in my county, per Airdna. Of course, some will be hotels or corporate stay companies using Airbnb, but still.

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Being in the states I would be royally ticked if I knew of someone who was getting subsidized housing and making a profit by using VRBO, Airbnb or whomever…that is just wrong…


Airbnb in cities comes up with alot of criticism due to a squeeze in housing. These people and other rogue landlords give hosting a bad name. There are positives in hosting in cities such as people who rent spare rooms. Unfortunately it is finding the balance between people trying to make a bit of extra money and people using property for greed.

What is NoVa going to do about this? There are companies that can sleuth out the hosts, in addition, if there is a tax agreement with Airbnb, your local office (if it was thinking ahead) required the turnover of host data so as to police this.

People like this make my blood boil. Currently there is an 8 year waiting list for single people in London who are eligible for social housing because there is so little available and this plonker used his as a cash cow while living elsewhere. I only wish they had put him in prison.

The amount of time he was listing, I bet he made way over 100K through Airbnb - I wish they had fined him more. Bet he declares bankruptcy and doesn’t end up paying a penny.


I don’t know about now, but there always used to be a high level of abuse in relation to local authority tenancies in many London boroughs. In many cases, the original tenant had moved on years previously and numerous folks had then “taken it over”, so to speak. These properties were often heavily in arrears for both rent and council tax.

Waiting lists were (allegedly) there to be subverted, either by nepotism or by hard cash. Low level political influence (allegedly) was another way to gain the keys to a council house.

When I lived in Highbury I knew a housing enforcement officer who worked for Hackney, she spent more time off work due to work related stress than she did at work and many of her colleagues were the same. Lack of support from above, unworkable guidelines and legislation (at the time), aggressive behaviour (and sometimes violence) from occupants was what they had to deal with on a daily basis.

If it now only eight years then that is an improvement. Without “help”, it used to be that a single person wasn’t even considered by many boroughs.


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Of course I told the revenue office person “You’re missing a few!” This in interesting – Airdna used to report, under its free subscription “overview,” the percentage of hosts with multiple properties, by definition illegal in my county (excluding the hotels and commercial short term rentals), which restricts to primary residence. That data is no longer shown.
I’ve been contacted by a few hosts who were busted by the county – I presume their neighbors turned them in.

Remember this story?

I agree in the main. There has always been eligibility for single people to be eligible to apply for social housing as there is studio and one bedroom accommodation. The reality is that this only goes to those who are classed as vulnerable in some way.

Much harder for single people without what is considered a ‘special need’.

And yes the system has always been open to abuse. STRs though means those sub letting illegally can make so much more.

In UK aren’t people on welfare now required to rent out any spare bedroom/s in their property? How does this apply to AirBnB STRs vs LTRs? There seems to be more of a history in the UK of people taking in a “lodger”, heck it’s even a David Bowie album title. Oh Mr Rigsby!

No they are not @JamJerrupSunset what a strange idea :grin:. You have millions on welfare some own their own homes, some rent, some have social housing. Of course the government can’t force any of these people to rent out their spare rooms. With rented accommodation in many cases it would be against the tenancy terms to sublet and they would end up being evicted.

There is no idea so stupidly inhumane that a Tory minister has not come up with it at some point.

As I said, and as it illustrates in the article you linked to, people are not REQUIRED to take in a lodger - it was a stupid throwaway suggestion by an ignorant politician. One who obviously has no understanding of the fact that it’s illegal to sub let in many cases and is not a way of people suffering from the benefits cap to supplement their income.

Yes I got that - no need for you to start lecturing me (again).

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No lecturing intended @JamJerrupSunset :slight_smile: you asked a question about UK benefits policy. I answered it. You countered (again) linking to an article quoting a throwaway remark from a politician rather than government policy.