Living Rent backs Edinburgh’s holiday rentals plan as ‘step in right direction’

Living Rent backs Edinburgh's holiday rentals plan as 'step in right direction'

31% of Scottish Airbnb listings are in Edinburgh

Tenants’ union Living Rent has launched a petition in response to the City of Edinburgh Council’s consultation on holiday lets in Edinburgh calling on the council’s Planning Committee to massively reduce the number of homes converted into short-term lets.

The tenants union said that the guidance provided by the council in its Proposed Planning Guidance for Short Term Lets is a step in the right direction for tenants and urged the public to endorse their response to the consultation.

If implemented, the council’s proposal will restrict holiday lets in shared stairwells, in quiet areas and in large properties which Living Rent say is an important and welcome step in pushing back against holiday lets in the city

Holiday lets are a particular problem in parts of Scotland with high levels of tourism such as Edinburgh and parts of the Highlands and Islands. 31% of Scottish Airbnb listings are in Edinburgh and Edinburgh’s Old Town has a larger proportion of holiday lets than any other area of the UK, with 29 listings per 100 properties.

The high density of holiday lets in Edinburgh is having an impact on the number of properties available to rent. Living Rent says that due to a lack of rental properties in the PRS, landlords are driving up rents, safe in the knowledge that their properties will be filled. Last month property website CityLets issued its quarterly report on the rental market, which indicated that the average monthly rent for a 2 bedroom property in the capital has risen to £1225, a 17.7% increase on the previous year.

The tenants union encourages residents of the city to sign a petition to demonstrate the widespread support for Living Rent’s response, thereby ensuring that the consultation is not dominated by the small number of holiday let landlords who profit from the lack of regulation. The petition is available on Living Rent’s website.

Eilidh Keay, a member of Living Rent in Leith, said: “Regulations on holiday lets are long overdue. There are approximately 10,000 holiday lets in Edinburgh, each one of which used to be a home for a city resident, and each one of which could be a home once again. Meanwhile the housing shortage in the capital is pushing rents through the roof and the city’s homelessness is out of control. The council can help solve these problems by regulating holiday lets properly.”

Mike Williamson, a member of Living Rent in Tollcross, added: “Holiday let landlords have had it far too easy for far too long, making a fast buck at the expense of everybody else. Now they’ve got the brass neck to complain about sensible regulation that should have come in years ago. Councillors should ignore their whingeing and act in the interest of the city’s residents.”

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