“My story is that of many people in Scotland facing precarious housing and living within broken communities. I live here in fear of being replaced by a short term let, their profits outweighing my ability to live here. I live here with no affordable housing options. I live here without a community, where people feel they have no voice to effect change because we’re few and getting fewer. There are business interests but all we’re interested in is having a place to live."

“I worry that eventually my tenement building will just become a place for people passing through, with no long stay residents to give the place a sense of community.”

“I live in a tenement block in Edinburgh. When I moved into my flat there was a mixture of residents – old and young, single people and families with kids. Many were owner occupiers while others rented for significant periods of time. Now on my floor the other two flats are run as short term lets. One is a short term let all year round – it’s a residential flat purchased for purely commercial purposes.”


“This is also a rural issue. Out of season communities become dark and empty, with fewer people paying council tax, using the local buses and health services, helping to run local projects or sitting on community councils. Historical and personal links feel broken.”

“The lady who lives downstairs from my flat has early onset dementia. Where once she would have seen the same people and we would all be aware of her symptoms, you now have new visitors in the tenement every week.”

“I look after the communal garden because I enjoy it, but it is becoming less easy to share jobs like cleaning the stairs. Anyone who lives in a tenement will know how echoey the stairwell often is, but visitors oblivious to this fact, hold loud conversations that penetrate my flat at uncivilised hours of the day. Or they bump large cases all the way down the stair on their way to catch early flights.”

“I live in a flat below a short term let and it’s making my home life unbearable. It’s very noisy and the people who visit don't really care about keeping noise to a minimum between 10 pm and 7am because they are on their holidays. I recently complained to the guests in the flat, asking them (at 2am) to turn off the music and keep the noise down. They responded by turning the music up and stamping on the floor for over an hour.”


“Rural communities are vulnerable to the loss of very small numbers of homes, shops and local facilities. Short term letting can have an impact far greater than might be expected. Small and rural communities lack the economies of scale in towns and cities. People may lack the opportunity to move locally while keeping the same job so a lack of local housing means moving away.”

“It's not just the noise, it's also the smoking and the mess in the stair and the unsettling feeling that people don't care about others in the building.”

“It’s nightmarish and the owners or agents may well say ‘Respect neighbours – No parties!’ on their adverts but they are not around in the middle of the night to suffer the noise or deal with their awful guests.”

“Living in the Old Town feels like being left out and considered lesser than other residents of Edinburgh. As though this place isn't for me, it's for the tourists. That I have no place being here or no right to expect to be treated better. Living here you are expected to accept the loud noises of the people staggering through the closes and the courtyards, of the parties booming not knowing where the noises are coming from.”


“It’s like living in a mix between a hotel and a shopping mall, surrounded by unregulated businesses the council doesn’t know or care about. New people come in every day, almost all of the flats around me being let short term all year round. Imagine everyone around you being transient. I might meet someone, help them out but then never see them again. Imagine that being the only kind of interaction you can enjoy with the people living around you, knowing that if you have an issue you’re on your own, but if they have an issue you’re possibly the only person they can turn to for information.”

“There is an inherent lack of safety knowing that there's no accountability mechanism set up for the people that come in and out all the time. People try to get into my front door almost every day: pushing their key, pushing the door, fiddling with the lock for minutes sometimes. They're not trying to rob me, at least I don't think so. I often open the door when this happens and politely ask what they're doing.”

“We live in a ground floor apartment and there was a short term let property directly above us. We endured constant noise of people and children moving, running and banging around and scrapping furniture on the wooden floors. Despite trying to resolve the issue by asking the owners to put down carpets or at least rugs, we were told that it is a flat and we should expect some noise!”

“The last straw for us was a when a ‘guest’ commented on a reviews website that they were having to be quiet for neighbours and apparently they were made to feel unwelcome by all the neighbours in the stair. When the owners apologised to the customers on our behalf, we were furious.”