Wightman concerned as tourism agency fails to keep minutes of meetings with AirBnB

Wed 2 May, 2018

Scottish Greens housing spokesperson Andy Wightman MSP today (2 May) raised concerns about the Scottish Government’s tourism agency after Freedom of Information (FoI) requests revealed that VisitScotland did not keep minutes of meetings with controversial holiday accommodation provider AirBnB ahead of the recent launch of a collaborative partnership between the two organisations.

The rapid growth in short-term lets, such as many of those enabled by AirBnB, is depriving communities of badly-needed permanent housing.

Statistics show need for rethink of government policies to tackle Scotland's housing crisis, says Wightman

Tue 13 Mar, 2018

Andy Wightman MSP, Housing spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, said today's (13 Mar) statistics show the need for a rethink of government policies in order to tackle Scotland's housing crisis.

The latest Quarterly Housing Statistics for Scotland show the number of social housing completions is down 16 per cent on the same quarter in 2016, and private new build starts are up 6 per cent while local authority new starts are down 29 per cent.

#HomesFirst: Wightman publishes examples of legislation to show how to help local councils

Mon 12 Feb, 2018

Scottish Green MSP Andy Wightman, whose Homes First campaign aims to regulate the rapid growth of the short-term letting sector, today (12 Feb) published examples of legislative change to show how the Scottish Government could help local Councils tackle the problem.

Research by the Homes First campaign has shown that the growth in commercial short-term lets is out of control in Edinburgh and of increasing concern across Scotland.

Report by the Scottish Expert Advisory Panel on the Collaborative Economy

Andy Wightman MSP Mon 29 Jan, 2018

Today, the Scottish Expert Advisory Panel on the Collaborative Economy published its final report. This Panel was established by the Scottish Government to explore the potential and challenges arising from the growth in digital platforms providing peer-to-peer services whether they be finance, taxi-rides, room-sharing or other services traditionally provided in a conventional market-based economy.

The terms of reference for the Panel were as follows:

What next for short-term lets in Edinburgh?

Andy Wightman MSP Mon 22 Jan, 2018

The announcement last week by Airbnb recommending imposing a 90-day curb on short-term lets in Edinburgh reignited the debate on this important matter. The proposed cap is, in fact 156 days if the Edinburgh Festival and Winter Festival are added (Airbnb propose excluding those periods from the 90-day cap)

Cutting through the headlines and rhetoric from commentators who lauded Airbnb’s intentions, there are serious misunderstandings about the nature of this move.

Harvie presses Sturgeon to give local councils powers to control short-term lets

Thu 18 Jan, 2018

Patrick Harvie MSP, Co-convener of the Scottish Greens, used today's First Minister's Questions to press Nicola Sturgeon to give local councils powers to control the rapid growth of short-term lets which is adding to pressures on Scotland's housing stock.

Recent research for Andy Wightman's Homes First campaign showed that many landlords are operating lucrative short term letting businesses in Edinburgh alone, including one host with 80 listings.

Patrick Harvie MSP said:

Homes First report reveals 1 short-term let host has 80 properties for let in Edinburgh

Fri 29 Dec, 2017

More than 30 landlords are operating lucrative short term letting businesses in Scotland’s capital, a new report reveals, adding to the pressure on Edinburgh’s housing stock. 

The report by a University of Sheffield academic, in partnership with Green MSP Andy Wightman, shows how, as of September 2017, one host on a leading short term letting site had 80 listings in Edinburgh, 28 hosts had ten or more listings and seven hosts had more than 20.

The Impact of Short Term Lets on the Property Market

cmc17132 Fri 22 Dec, 2017

In this blog, David Marshall, Operations Director at Warners LLP, draws on his business experience to discuss the impact that short term lets have on the property market.

New academic paper: Short term lets and title conditions

Andy Wightman MSP Wed 13 Dec, 2017

Short term lets are quickly gaining the attention of academics who are curious about the worldwide impacts of this form of letting. Some researchers, for example, have considered aspects of delivering new innovations to tourist accommodation, while others have examined the role of planning and policymaking.

Until now there has been a lack of research on short term lets relating to Scots law .

A dysfunctional housing market gives landlords undue power

Patrick Harvie MSP Fri 17 Nov, 2017

Moving back to Glasgow from university, some twenty-odd years ago, I was in the same position as most people of my age in knowing that the private rented sector was my only option. With social housing unavailable and owner occupation unaffordable, a private tenancy was already the only housing choice available to a great many people. There was some pretty shoddy housing out there, and some pretty sharp practice too, as I found to my cost when I was harassed out of one flat by a landlord who refused even to give me a written lease.