Scottish short-term rental owners fight to keep properties open

UK: Four Edinburgh Landlords using short-term rental platform Airbnb have gone to the Scottish government with a request to stay open.

The group are protesting a ruling that the location and high turnover causes disturbance to the area’s residential character.

Edinburgh council initially told the owners to remove the listing in January. They have claimed that these flats have impacted residents around them, with neighbours apparently claiming that their lives were made a misery by the various guests.

The landlords in question claim that the flats are small, and do not have major rates of turnover. In their letter, the group claims they have received no complaints for the moment being and have been active in the upkeep of their property and communal areas.

Alan Laing, owner of one of the flats, said to The Scottish Sun: “The property is not used for short one-night stays. The flat is advertised on Airbnb to allow us to regulate the use of the property as and when we require it for our own use.”

The government is set to make a ruling in due course.

The Scottish capital has been attempting to fight the spread of short-term rentals recently. This comes after the city was named a trial zone for the Scottish government’s new Airbnb laws, passed in January.

New licensing schemes and a full transmission of powers will be completed by 2021.

The short-term rental industry is being affected across the country by additional legislation and by the spread of Covid-19. Directives from the government have caused many short-term rental providers to either stop or slow business for the time being.

As a result, many of Edinburgh’s Airbnb properties have returned to the traditional rental market, which anti-STR advocates have applauded. With lockdown currently set for at least the next two weeks, the full impact of this ruling is not fully clear yet.