Letters: Holyrood report on holiday lets is too weak

The growth of Airbnb has added to problems.
The growth of Airbnb has added to problems.
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Edinburgh Evening News reader Sheila Gilmore wants to see some action from the Scottish Government over Airbnb-type lets in Edinburgh.

It is good to see there is ­widespread political support for taking measures to tackle the uncontrolled spread of short term holiday lets in the city.

The SNP, Labour and the Greens are united in wanting to see the ­council given the powers it needs. Can we ­expect the Scottish Government to act quickly to provide these powers or are we going to see another knock back from Scottish ministers, as happened earlier this summer when the council overwhelmingly supported the ­introduction of a tourist levy?

At the moment, this form of letting is excluded from both landlord ­registration and HMO licensing. So, for instance, a flat which if let on a permanent basis would be restricted to four occupants, could have eight or more packed in for a holiday, raising safety concerns.

READ MORE: Revealed: One third of Airbnb lets being offered by property ‘barons’

Surely the necessary amendments to existing legislation could be done ­relatively quickly?

The new powers must also give councils the ability to make local ­decisions about whether and to what extent they want to restrict the ­numbers of such lets.

In her article, Cllr Kate Campbell seems hopeful of Scottish Government action (News, August 1). But the report she refers to, commissioned by the Scottish Government, was weak in its proposals.

What is more, although it was published some months ago, there has been no official Scottish Government response to it or proposals for action.

Edinburgh has nearly half of all ­Airbnb-type lets in Scotland, but it is far from the only place worried about this. Let’s see some action from the Scottish Government!

Sheila Gilmore, St Catherine’s Place, Edinburgh.

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