The tide is turning against Airbnb and other short-term lets platforms after both Scotland and the city of Bristol yesterday announced measures to regulate its use.
Councils in Scotland are to be given powers to introduce HMO-style licencing schemes for short-term lets in Airbnb hotspots after months of sustained campaigning by housing activists.
The debate has been most vocal in Edinburgh, where the transition of traditional renting stock to short-lets has been most acute.
Research published by the Scottish government last year found a three-fold increase in properties available let for short-term use since 2016, rising to 32,000 in May 2019.
Short lets licensing
Louise Dickins, who has run a short-term lettings company in Edinburgh for 21 years, told the BBC that although Airbnb has created huge supply and demand for short-lets in the city and stimulated the economy, she welcomes the proposed licencing.
“It will mean the council will know where all the [Airbnb] homes are and impose safety standards and deal more effectively when neighbours complain about noise,” she said.
David Cox (left), Chief Executive, ARLA Propertymark, has also welcomed the announcement: “In some urban areas, the supply of local housing is under intense pressure and as the private rental sector becomes increasingly regulated, landlords are moving further towards the less regulated short-term letting space.
“This can also result in lower quality accommodation for tenants and overall creates a vastly uneven playing field.”
Bristol city councillors also announced cross-party support yesterday for plans to control Airbnb listings in order to ensure a better-regulated market and introduce a more level playing field, although how this will achieved is yet to be agreed.
“There are 2,000 registered properties for Airbnb [in Bristol] and this is rising year on year,” says councillor Nicola Beech.
Read more about Airbnb.