Fri 10 Jul, 2020

Most commercial short-term holiday lets in Edinburgh are operating unlawfully, according to a survey undertaken by Scottish Greens Lothian MSP Andy Wightman.

The results of the survey, published in a report today, show that just one property out of the 477 surveyed had the appropriate planning consents, suggesting 99.8% of commercial short term lets in the capital could be operating unlawfully. 

Andy Wightman MSP said:

“The results from my homes first research reveal the depressing truth of how out of control short term lets are in Edinburgh. All but one property identified have no planning consent to operate as short term lets, meaning that the rest are in all probability operating unlawfully.

“Many of my constituents have had their lives turned upside down because of the unregulated growth of what are essentially mini hotels operating in communal stairwells. More than 20% of respondents to my survey indicated that there were three or more short term lets operating in their building. And with the Scottish Government confirming that short term lets can resume operating on the 15th July, anxieties are being heightened once again.

“I wrote to the Tourism Minister on 12th June expressing my concerns, but he dismissed them as ‘manifestly ill-founded’ in the media and has yet to reply to my letter. I have also asked Ministers to ensure that commercial short term lets in shared stairs remain shut until 30 September but, failing that, at the very least to publish the scientific advice that says operating in shared stairwells is safe"

"My constituents deserve clarity, certainty and safety in the face of the remorseless advance of unauthorised commercial activity in their residential stairs"

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