Map reveals how Airbnb is taking over Britain’s holiday hotspots: Number of short-term rentals surges in Dorset and Peak District since Covid – as locals complain about topless hen dos and rowdy guests inhaling ‘hippy crack’ and setting off fireworks
- Peak District, Dorset and Shropshire and Herefordshire are most sought-after
- Residents in Dorset have blasted rowdy guests who play loud music at all hours
Residents on quiet suburban streets have suffered sleepless nights after so-called Airbnb ‘party houses’ popped up in their neighbourhoods as rowdy guests choose rural holiday hotspots over city pads.
Some locals in Dorset, where Airbnb listings have increased by 36 per cent in the three years to July 2022, say raucous clientele have littered their roads with beer cans and ‘hippy crack’ gas canisters, while others have seen topless hen do parties since Covid restrictions eased.
It comes as a map has revealed how Airbnb is taking over Britain’s holiday hotspots, with the Peak District, Dorset and Shropshire and Herefordshire all experiencing a surge in listings since Covid.
The Peak District saw its Airbnb listings increase by 37 per cent in the three years to July 2022, the largest jump out of all holiday destinations, according to data from AirDNA.
Dorset saw the second biggest growth (36 per cent), while Shropshire and Herefordshire, another staycation hotspot, saw a 29 per cent rise in listings.
Revealed: The number of short-term rentals is growing in Britain’s holiday hotspots, bar Bath, Brighton, Bristol and London
Other trending locations that are seeing more Airbnb listings pop up are Norfolk, Kent, Gloucester and Cheltenham, and the Lake District.
Suffolk, Devon, Somerset, Cornwall and Sussex, also saw a boom in listings between July 2019 and July 2022.
The cities of Bristol, Bath, Brighton and London, that have previously tended to fare well with hen and stag do parties, all saw a decline in Airbnb listings in the same time period.
A university couple were fined for breaching lockdown rules after hosting a birthday party that led to a £2million Airbnb Sandbanks mansion (pictured) being trashed in March 2021
Inside the luxury Sandbanks home, before it was trashed by a party hosted by a university couple
The aftermath of the party at the luxury pad – the owner came back to find the damage
Parties on Airbnb have been banned since 2020, and since it introduced its zero-tolerance policy there has been a 63 per cent drop in the number of party reports in the UK.
It has also removed or suspended more than 1,000 listings in the UK as part of a crackdown on party houses, many of which are also advertised on other booking platforms.
Short-term rentals have sprung up in the affluent waterside community of Sandbanks, leaving locals at their wits end over loud music blaring from speakers at all hours.
READ MORE: Student couple’s lockdown-busting birthday party ended with trashed £2m Airbnb Sandbanks mansion after it was gatecrashed
Earlier this month, a university couple were fined for breaching lockdown rules after hosting a birthday party that led to a £2 million Airbnb Sandbanks mansion on Panorama Road being trashed in March 2021.
There were reports of drug paraphernalia and laughing gas canisters being left behind.
The property’s owner, businessman Nick Briant, told the court it cost ‘about £1,000 of deep cleaning, cleaning carpets and repainting walls’ to fix the damage.
The local resident said that Panorama Road, where the notorious party Airbnb was held, was littered with ‘nitrous oxide canisters everywhere and industrial fireworks debris in the road’ afterwards.
‘A lot of it is people on holiday so they don’t give a damn,’ she continued.
‘They don’t appreciate that people actually live here and have jobs to get up for or babies they are trying to get to sleep.’
The property’s owner Mr Briant told MailOnline: ‘We have literally just had that one party and nothing else since then.
‘The nitrous gas canisters are from that one party, that is the only time it’s happened.
‘Since then we have changed the text in the listing to deter any parties.
‘We also send an email as soon as you book stating if you have booked this for a party you must cancel now and then another similar email before they arrive.
‘Since we implemented these changes there has never been another issue again.’
Airbnb said they investigated the party report at the time and the guest was banned from the platform, while the host was provided support.
Elsewhere in Sandbanks, one woman who did not want to be named for fear of repercussions, described what it was like to live near a ‘party house’ on Seacombe Road.
A local resident said this property on Seacombe Road attracted ‘people partying’
The middle-aged woman said: ‘I’ve been laying in bed at midnight and heard people partying. I’ve gone out and banged on the wall or fence and said some of us are trying to sleep.
‘This one has not been too bad but the trouble is there are so many of them around here.’
READ MORE: So THIS is what it’s like to live next to an Airbnb! Furious neighbours recorded this ear-splitting din from ‘party pad’ complete with hot tub, karaoke room and cocktail bar as Rishi launches crackdown on anti-social staycation houses
Airbnb said it had not received any issues relating to this listing from the host, guests or neighbours and it had not seen any evidence to suggest the reported concerns are linked to Airbnb stays.
The next door neighbour of another short-term rental in a suburb of Bournemouth, Dorset, has told of the shenanigans which have previously gone on there, including topless hen parties in the last couple of years when it became a short-term rental.
The seven-bedroom property, which can be rented out for up to £900-a-night, is fitted out with a hot tub, games room and cinema room.
Adrian Rawlings, 71, a retired school caretaker, has lived in a detached home on a busy road in Wallisdown for more than 30 years.
About five years ago, the property next door was converted into a modern short-term rental.
Mr Rawlings said the previous owner of the home did not vet who stayed there and there were many stag do and hen parties which kept him and his wife up all night.
The party house was sold last year and although the new owner has kept it as an Airbnb, he is careful to only rent it out to families, Mr Rawlings said.
Under the previous ownership on one occasion, his wife was awoken by screaming at 2am and she looked out of the landing window which overlooks the party house.
To her shock, there was a group of women in their 20s jumping topless into the hot tub.
Mr Rawlings said: ‘There was no vetting so stag dos and hen parties would keep us up all night playing drunken games.
‘My wife looked out the landing window at 2am one particularly rowdy night and there was a group of women diving topless into the hot tub.
Adrian Rawlings, 71, a retired school caretaker, has lived in a detached home on a busy road in Wallisdown for more than 30 years
The seven-bedroom property, which can be rented out for up to £900-a-night, is fitted out with a hot tub, games room and cinema room
Mr Rawlings said his wife had previously seen a group of women in their 20s jumping topless into the hot tub
The Airbnb is kitted with a cinema room
‘We have nothing against people getting drunk and having a party but this is not the right place for it.
‘If you are in the middle of nowhere then by all means go for it but there are retired people living on this street.’
The property’s owner told MailOnline: ‘We carefully vet our guests to ensure we don’t get stags, hens or other parties.
‘We also have lots of other measures in place including a Minut noise sensor in the garden that links to an app alerting us to contact guests to prevent them disturbing neighbours.
‘We have strict house rules and nobody is allowed to use the garden after 10pm. The hot tub and outdoor lights automatically switch off at this time.
‘I’m glad that Adrian and Lynn informed you how much things have improved since we bought the house, as this is what they’ve also said to us.
‘We’ve made an effort to get to know the neighbours on the other side too who tell us they’ve not been disturbed.’
Earlier this week, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced a £160million crackdown on anti-social behaviour – with plans including giving landlords powers to evict tenants who disrupt their neighbours and forcing Airbnb hosts to register on a database.
Another popular Airbnb destination is the vibrant south-western city of Bristol, which had more than 4,000 available listings as of July last year.
One short-term rental, in the neighbourhood of Henleaze, had been wreaking havoc on the local community until it was finally removed as a listing earlier this year.
The Airbnb listing for Hob House has since been removed
But one short-term rental, in the northern suburb of Henleaze, had been wreaking havoc on the local community until it was finally put to a stop this year.
Neighbours described how guests who stayed at the end-of-terrace five-bedroom home had made their lives a ‘misery’.
The listing was posted on a number of booking platforms, including Booking.com, Bristol Hotels England and Lodging World. Local media reported it was listed on Airbnb but the company said it had no record of it being listed.
Janet Saunders, 76, who has lived on Hobhouse Close in Henleaze for 19 years, said: ‘It was horrendous; we had people coming and going, stag parties, beer cans in the streets, noise and more.
‘It was really disturbing, I’m a lady of a certain age who lives on her own, and not knowing who was going to turn up, what kind of people they were – you just couldn’t be sure. I did not feel safe.
Neighbours described how guests who stayed at the end-of-terrace five-bedroom home had made their lives ‘a misery’.
‘That has finally stopped now because we all complained. But at the time it was awful. I noticed that the lights would be on all night.’
She added: ‘We were a quiet, close knit neighbourhood and it was a quite traumatic event for the community.
‘There are a lot of elderly residents here, as well as young families.’
‘But we never knew who was in that house, who was coming and going, and when you don’t know who they are or where they are going – it’s a worry if you have young children out there.’
Ms Saunders also said parking had become a nightmare on the close because the Airbnb would cater for up to 10 guests.
The owners of the property were forced to end the Airbnb on Hobhouse Close’s current use and halve the maximum number of occupants who could stay
Local residents complained of nuisance guests that would drink, fight, shout and play loud music late into the night
Recalling one particularly shocking incident, she said: ‘One time, an ambulance had to come for another member of the community.
‘Because of the number of cars, the ambulance had to block the road – because they had nowhere else to go.’
‘It was just a huge disturbance for the community. At weekends I would genuinely see people arrive and just think ‘God, I wonder who will turn up next’.
‘I just knew the weekends were going to be a nightmare – and they were.’
Another elderly resident, who wished to remain anonymous, said: ‘It was used as a party house to be honest, and we all know what that means these days.
‘The people who would visit would stay out until the early hours of the morning. They came in and would disturb what was a very quiet community.
‘We often found the road was blocked with parked vehicles – even while mini-busses would turn up with people to stay and park on the road.
‘It affected every aspect of the community.
The owners of the property were forced to end its current use and halve the maximum number of occupants who could stay.
It come after complaints from local residents, who were exasperated by nuisance guests that would drink, fight, shout and play loud music late into the night.
Nick Druro, 66, who has lived at Hobhouse Close for 25 years said the influx of unwanted guests had changed the road for the worse.
He said that the community had a reputation ‘for being such a lovely development’ in the 1970s, even winning an award, ‘but unfortunately since then things have really gone downhill.’
‘Nobody ever did anything to disturb anyone here for decades and now in the last couple of years everything started to fall apart,’ he said.
Analysis has suggested one in every four homes is used for Airbnb in some parts of England.
Airbnb has soared in popularity since homeowners first started renting out their properties with the online service in around 2009.
It has coincided with a boom in the domestic travel industry, with holidaymakers opting to stay in the UK. But there have also been occasions where renters have held parties, in contravention of Airbnb policies.
In 2017, Greater Manchester Police were called when dozens of young people descended on a suburban semi-detached home in Droylsden advertised at just £50 a night.
And more than 50 Met police officers were needed to shut down a 150-strong gathering at an Airbnb property in London in 2020, in contravention of coronavirus curbs.
An Airbnb spokesperson said: ‘Parties are banned on Airbnb and we have zero tolerance for anti-social behaviour.
‘In the last year alone our industry-leading prevention technology blocked more than 84,000 people from making certain unwanted bookings, and our 24/7 hotline allows neighbours to contact us directly with any concerns which we will investigate.
‘We are committed to being good partners and have long supported the introduction of a national short-term lets register to give authorities better visibility of activity in their area.’
All property owners have been contacted for comment.
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