In its response to the Scottish Government’s consultation on a new regulatory framework for short-term lets, CIH Scotland have welcomed the proposals for a flexible system that would balance the needs of local residents and visitors, however, concerns were raised about how a new system would be monitored and enforced.
According to the group, the rise of online platforms such as Airbnb in recent years has led to a “significant increase” in the number of short term lets across Scotland.
Edinburgh is currently the most popular place in Scotland for Airbnb guests but rural areas are also said to have seen a significant increase in the number of visitors.
Recent analysis showed that there is now one Airbnb letting for every 10 homes on the Isle of Skye.
CIH also credit the increasing volume of short term lets to numerous issues, adding that as homes are converted from residential accommodation to holiday lets, residents will have “less choice” if they need to move and prices can be forced up.
Neighbours of short term lets are also said to have reported problems with noise and antisocial behaviour and lack of security as multiple guests are given keys to communal entranceways.
Ashley Campbell, Policy and Practice Manager at CIH Scotland said: “Platforms such as Airbnb have undoubtedly brought benefits by allowing people to earn a bit more money by letting out a room in their home and providing tourists with more choice.
“However, we cannot ignore the impact that increasing numbers of homes being permanently converted into unregulated holiday accommodation is having on communities across Scotland.
“The problems of noise and antisocial behaviour caused by ‘party flats’ has been well documented but we are also concerned about the fact that these homes are not subject to the same safety standards as a privately rented home.
“We think that all homes being let out, whether just for a few days or on a more permanent basis, should be subject to minimum safety standards.”