Regulations for short term lets must be proportionate and enforceable
Responding to the Scottish Government’s consultation on a new regulatory framework for short term lets, CIH Scotland welcomed the proposals for a flexible system that would balance the needs of local residents and visitors. However, concerns were raised about how a new system would be monitored and enforced.
The rise of online platforms such as Airbnb in recent years has led to a significant increase in the number of short term lets across Scotland. Edinburgh is the most popular place in Scotland for Airbnb guests but rural areas are also seeing a significant increase in the number of visitors. Analysis carried out for CIH showed that there is now one Airbnb letting for every 10 homes on the Isle of Skye.
The increasing volume of short term lets has been linked to numerous issues. As homes are converted from residential accommodation to holiday lets, local residents will have less choice if they need to move and prices can be forced up. Neighbours of short term lets have reported problems with noise and antisocial behaviour and lack of security as multiple guests are given keys to communal entranceways.
Ashley Campbell, Policy and Practice Manager at CIH Scotland said:
“Platforms such as Airbnb have undoubtedly brought benefits by allowing people to earn a bit more money by letting out a room in their home and providing tourists with more choice. However, we cannot ignore the impact that increasing numbers of homes being permanently converted into unregulated holiday accommodation is having on communities across Scotland.
“The problems of noise and antisocial behaviour caused by ‘party flats’ has been well documented but we are also concerned about the fact that these homes are not subject to the same safety standards as a privately rented home. We think that all homes being let out, whether just for a few days or on a more permanent basis, should be subject to minimum safety standards.”
Notes to Editors
- The Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) is the independent voice for housing and the home of professional standards. Our goal is simple – to provide housing professionals with the advice, support and knowledge they need to be brilliant. CIH is a registered charity and not-for-profit organisation. This means that the money we make is put back into the organisation and funds the activities we carry out to support the housing sector. We have a diverse membership of people who work in both the public and private sectors, in 20 countries on five continents across the world. Further information is available at www.cih.org
- CIH Scotland’s full response to the consultation can be viewed here: http://www.cih.org/publication-free/display/vpathDCR/templatedata/cih/publication-free/data/Scotland/Response_to_consultation_on_short_term_lets
- For further information, please contact Ashley Campbell, policy and practice officer at firstname.lastname@example.org