Euan McGrory: AirBnB needs to be brought under control

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Let’s get one thing straight from the start about AirBnB and all the other holiday let websites, their arrival has been good for most of us - and good for Edinburgh.

Many of us have used them as a (relatively) cheap way of source of accommodation in tourist hot spots and enjoyed the way they offer a different experience of a city to staying in a hotel on the main drag.

Without them, there is no way that Edinburgh could accommodate all the visitors that want to come here each August and New Year without building even more hotels than we have already.

Problem have arisen, however, as a result of its uncontrolled growth. One in five visitors to the city now books through AirBnB and a third of those holiday lets are run by professional landlords who escape all normal oversight - and much of the tax - to which bed and breakfasts and hotels are subjected.

No one objects to their neighbour making a few quid by renting out their flat for a fortnight in August. Life can be a nightmare though for people living next to some AirBnB properties which are constanlty let and not properly managed, while the professional landlords are not paying towards the local services their visitors use. That all has to change.