Comment: End of the free ride for AirBnB

chris young has an AirBnB property in Edinburgh city centre
chris young has an AirBnB property in Edinburgh city centre
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The digital revolution has impacted on just about every part of our lives.

It has wrought major changes on your local newspaper of course, with our website, videos and Facebook page now as much a part of life at the Evening News as your daily paper.

The property rental sector is no different. Whereas only a few years ago, anyone looking for accommodation would search out regular hotels and bed and breakfasts, millions of people now know they can go straight to the AirBnB website and usually get something cheaper.

As far as travellers go, its brilliant. More and more people are also discovering it as a great way to make a bit of extra cash by renting out their family home during the Fringe or other holidays.

What is also happening though is that growing numbers of people are using it to run a full-time holiday rental business. Most pay no business rates, allowing them to easily undercut the traditional B ‘n’ B down the road. No wonder there is a growing resentment from many of them.

The scale of AirBnB operations in the Capital means a crackdown now could be quite lucrative for the city. A system that taxes the full-time operators and lets the ‘ordinary joes’ carry on seems entierly fair.