Edinburgh sees more new rental listings than London as Airbnb exodus continues

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Short-term let landlords are moving back to the long-term let market due to the coronavirus hitting the tourism industry.

Edinburgh has seen an higher increase in new rental listings than London when compared to the same time last year as property owners shift back to the long-term rental market and abandon holiday lets.

Comparing last week with the same period last year, the property website told the Evening News there had been a rise of 62 per cent in new rental listings.

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This is higher than other tourist and Airbnb hotspots including Brighton, York and Chester, and is higher than central London which has seen a 45 per cent rise.

Andy Wightman cautiously welcomed the news of holiday lets returning to the long-term rental market.Andy Wightman cautiously welcomed the news of holiday lets returning to the long-term rental market.
Andy Wightman cautiously welcomed the news of holiday lets returning to the long-term rental market. | Getty Images

The statistics come as Lothian MSP Andy Wightman who has campaigned for tougher regulation of the short-term and holiday let market warned landlords must not be allowed to abuse tenant laws around evictions once the COVID-19 crisis is finished.

However, the rise of 62 per cent in Edinburgh, behind only Bath which saw a rise of 78 per cent, confirmed the experience of grassroots campaign groups which saw an increase in holiday lets returning to the long-term rent market, as reported by the Evening News on Wednesday.

Rightmove’s housing market analyst Miles Shipside says: “There was a notable increase in new rental listings coming onto Rightmove in some of the most popular tourist areas like Bath, Edinburgh, Brighton and areas of Central London last week, likely as landlords who normally rent out their properties as holiday homes looked to find another income route by offering it to long term tenants instead.

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“Letting agents who’ve set up their businesses to work from home are finding ways to conduct virtual viewings rather than in person and will be working hard to secure tenants for these landlords with a view to them being able to move in once we return to better times.”

The large increase in number was cautiously welcomed by Mr Wightman who added it was crucial that funding meant for bona fide businesses to help them cope with the coronavirus outbreak would not go to short-term lets operating unlawfully.

He said: “I am pleased to see so many short-term lets being made available as residential lets.

“From analysis we have carried out, the overwhelming majority of these properties have been operating unlawfully and it is important that the funding that has been made available to businesses as a result of covid-19 is not given to such operations.

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“It is also important that any residential lets that are created are not simply terminated when this pandemic is over and that the grounds for eviction under the Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Act 2016 are not abused.”

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