'It's too much' say residents at London mansion block hosting more tourists than Ritz

Residents living in a mansion block a stone’s throw from Hyde Park have complained their building has become a “revolving door” for tourists.

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

Residents say visitors who book flats via holiday-let companies are “shattering their peace” by hosting loud parties.

One woman, who has lived there for two years, 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.”

It comes as Westminster revealed it was investigating a record 2,400 properties for abusing short-term let rules.

The borough has more than 10,500 homes being used as holiday lets.

Council leader Adam Hug said “a Wild West of short-term lets” risked “hollowing out our capital by eroding the private rented sector, increasing costs for local authorities and undermining communities across the country”.

Mr Hug has written to the Government to warn that automatically exempting existing short-term lets from needing planning permission will create “an effective amnesty for years of rule-breaking, anti-social behaviour”.