The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has backed calls by one of its members in Scotland to regulate the country’s fast-expanding holiday short-lets market.
RICS yesterday retweeted a link to an article by a leading letting agent in Edinburgh, Jonathan Gordon of Clan Gordon, which calls on legislators in Scotland to ‘catch up’ with the fast-developing largely Airbnb-created holiday short lets market in the city.
Gordon blames the huge increase in the number of short-lets in Edinburgh on Scotland’s sometimes draconian regulation of its private rented sector.
“Speaking so often to landlords, we have real perspective on this – and know from first-hand experience that many letting their property out short term are doing so to avoid the robust regulations of the private rented sector,” he says.
“You have to therefore ask, is it sensible to have tourists living in unsafe holiday lets that it would be illegal to rent as homes?
“Edinburgh in particular is seeing sweeping changes to whole neighbourhoods and it is apparent that the short-term letting boom has left policymakers playing catch-up. We must now make up that ground.”
Gordon went on to call for secondary legislation to extend landlord registration to short-lets as well as property maintenance and repairing standards, and possibly even increase council tax rates for properties place on platforms like Airbnb.
The Negotiator also spoke to a leading competitor with Airbnb, which said they had attended meeting with English ministers and had warned them of the consequences of over regulating long-let landlords, because it will push more landlords into the short lets sector.