More needs to be done to stem the rise in short-term lets on Airbnb in Scotland to ensure that the market north of the border is not left facing a housing disaster, according to the chief executive of the Scottish Association of Landlords (SAL).
A surge in the numbers of short-term lets on Airbnb in recent years is already having negative consequences for renters in Scotland, which is why several councils are considering new measures to help clampdown on the number of short-term lets.
Glasgow City Council introduced regulations in March 2017 that means it is now forbidden to rent out an entire flat for short-term lets, including Airbnb, in a close with a communal entrance. An individual room can be rented out if the owner remains living in the property.
Change of use planning permission is required in other cases but may be refused in areas where there is a high density of rented flats, including Crosshill, Dennistoun, the west end and Strathbungo.
A letting agent in Glasgow failed in his bid last week to challenge the ban on Airbnb lets, when he attempted to run an Airbnb let in a residential block in Glasgow’s west end.
Stephen McGlone, who owns Westgate estate agents, lost an appeal heard by the Scottish government against the first enforcement notice to be issued by Glasgow City Council, in a case that could have implications for hundreds of landlords, which is welcome news for SAL’s John Blackwood.
The trade body’s chief executive is concerned that the huge upswing in short-term lets in recent years is being driven by landlords taking properties they had previously rented to long-term tenants, instead using them as lucrative holiday lets.
He firmly believes that fresh incentives need to be put in place to reverse that trend.
He said: “We must incentivise landlords to come back into the long-term market along with proportionately regulating short-term lets.”