One in three Edinburgh short-term lets hosted NHS workers

UK: Edinburgh short-term let operators revealed that one in three properties were opened to NHS workers during the early stages of the pandemic.

This is as Scotland and the city of Edinburgh move further towards placing heavy restrictions on the sector.

A survey from the Association of Scottish Self-Caterers (ASSC) found that at least 30 per cent of short-term lets in the city opened their doors to NHS members. These were usually at a free or heavily discounted rate.

The segment has been under significant criticism as a variety of studies have demonstrated the widespread reach of the properties within the city. Earlier this month, a study sponsored by Green MSP Andy Wightman and Homes First, revealed that one in 477 rentals lacked adequate planning permission for commercial usage.

ASSC hopes that these new reports demonstrate a positive contribution to society from the short-term let industry. It further hopes that the figures can counteract some of the negative press accumulated from opposition reports.

Fiona Campbell, ASSC chief executive, said to Edinburgh Evening News: “That nearly one in three respondents have welcomed our hardworking and dedicated NHS staff into their properties for free at this trying time is a testament to their community spirit, social conscience, and commitment to others.“Our entire sector joins with the rest of Scotland to say a clear, emphatic, and heartfelt thank you to our NHS and we hope that, once life returns to normal, that we will have the chance to welcome them back for the breaks that they rightly deserve.”

Edinburgh residents had recently further raised concerns about shrot-term lets due to the potential cleaning risks around communal areas in large scale tenement rentals. Airbnb immediately responded with a statement, assuring residents the quality of their improved cleaning regimens and further of the potential good that Airbnb rentals could bring to the city’s economy.