Please send me SCA's fortnightly briefing:

< Back to '29th January 2020' briefing

January 28, 2020

Taking back control 

A couple of packed public meetings held in Edinburgh in recent weeks at which much frustration and fury has been vented at the way the City appears to have been ‘sold off’ to the free marketeers of the tourism and events industry and, in particular, the property-letting global juggernaut, Airbnb. A grassroots protest has evolved into PLACE, a networked group of citizens systematically challenging the explosion of unregulated short term lets. They’ve now been joined by Andy Wightman MSP and the campaign Homes First. A mapping survey has been launched to identify Airbnb hotspots.

Andy Wightman MSP

The growth in short-term lets is out of control in Edinburgh and of increasing concern across Scotland. The conversion of much-needed homes into commercial lets is happening with virtually no oversight and is causing significant distress to residents. Homes First is a campaign to resist the commercial forces that are being unleashed by the expansion of short term letting, to uphold the value of the homes and communities we live in, and to demand reform in housing and planning law so that homes come first.

This website is a tool for people across Scotland to report short-term lets operating in their communities. We will use this data to build a better understanding of short-term let hotspots and the impact on the people around them.

What is a short-term let? A short-term let is any whole flat or house that is no longer anyone’s permanent home. We are not concerned about home sharing or the traditional self-catering industry.

What is Homes First? Homes First is a campaign to resist commercial forces putting profit before people’s homes.

What will you do with the data collected through this survey? We will plot the locations of short-term lets on an interactive map, available on this website. We will also use the data to better understand the scale of the problem, helping central and local government tackle the issue.