London’s Airbnb Wild West: Party pads and ‘brothels’ uncovered by probes into holiday lets

    Residents at the Park West mansion block, a stone’s throw from Hyde Park, complain they are plagued by loud parties and overcrowding.

    They say visitors who book flats via short-term letting companies are “shattering their peace” and the luxury apartments have become a “revolving door” for tourists.

    More than 100 of the 530 flats at Park West are suspected to be listed on holiday let websites and Westminister council says it is likely the block is hosting more guests a night than the Ritz, which has 111 rooms and 25 suites.

    Stratoula Nasioula, 27, who works in publishing, has lived there for two years. She said: “There are people wheeling suitcases in at all hours, even 2.30am. There are so many people here in and out, and it does feel a bit sketchy.

    “A lot of the people coming for a couple of days don’t have key fobs for the main gate so they queue behind me when I’m going in. It does feel too much.”

    A resident in his forties, who has lived in the block for more than a decade, said he had complained to Westminster council and property managers.

    He told the Standard: “The sense of community has been lost. It’s a revolving door and our peace has been shattered. Airbnb are taking over, it seems. They seem to get round the rule that says they can only rent for 90 days a year somehow.”

    However, a woman from the Gulf, who has come to London for a health procedure and is staying in the block, said the short-stay accommodation was ideal.

    She said: “I’m happy here, it is central and convenient and people need somewhere to stay. I don’t see a problem.”

    Mark Jenner, company secretary of Highdorn, which manages Park West and other buildings, said previously: “We fight these battles in many of our blocks. We fight it as hard as we can, but it’s a losing battle.”

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