A tenant who sub-let his council flat through Airbnb has been evicted and fined a record £100,000 amid plans for a national registration scheme to stop rogue landlords using letting sites.
Tony Harman, 37, had been advertising his home as a “cosy studio apartment” for rent in Victoria, central London since 2013.
The property, which featured its own hot tub, amassed more than 300 online reviews before he was prosecuted by Westminster council.
Harman used the name “Lara” when posting about the flat, but was caught out after his first name appeared among scores of online testimonials left by people who stayed there.
The council took him to court, and, after a failed appeal, he was evicted and ordered to pay back £100,974 in unlawful profits, according to The Times.
His case emerged as local authorities struggle to cope with a booming market in short-term online lettings, with council housing used to set up “popup” brothels and illegal raves.