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Airbnb landlords quitting due to growing red tape - claim

AirBnb owners are leaving the market for long term lettings following changes to the regulations in Scotland according to a leading property firm. 

DJ Alexander Ltd, the largest lettings and estate agency in Scotland, says it has been approached by holiday lettings landlords wanting to shift to long term residential letting because of costs and uncertainty over the introduction of more stringent regulations on operating through AirBnb and other short-term letting sites.

The new rules, which take effect from this month for new properties entering the market and from April 2023 for existing lets, require landlords to apply for planning permission to operate a holiday let. 


This permission must be sought despite there being no guarantee of acceptance so substantial fees and legal costs are incurred without any certainty that the property will be accepted.

One Glasgow landlord, who wished to remain anonymous, has told DJ Alexander: “My feeling is that I am being forced out of the market by these new regulations. We are being asked to pay thousands of pounds to submit an application for planning permission when there is no guarantee that this will be approved and no clear guidance on how to comply with the new rules. It is also unlikely that planning permission will be granted in time as architects are telling me they won’t be able to look at this until January at the earliest.

“My advisers have said that it is 50/50 whether my property will be accepted, and, for me, the financial costs don’t justify remaining in the sector. I never made an awful lot of money out of holiday letting but I enjoyed it, and the property could be used by friends and family who wanted a place to stay in the West End of Glasgow. 

“Moving to the long-term market will be financially beneficial and be less hassle but I worry that the new regulations are going to permanently damage the holiday sector in the city and cause financial distress to those who work in tourism in Glasgow.”

David Alexander, chief executive of DJ Alexander Ltd, says: “We are seeing many landlords moving out of the holiday letting sector simply because of the uncertainty of the new regulations and the costs of implementing the rules. However, this is welcome news for the long-term residential sector which is at breaking point at the moment with demand far outstripping supply.”

“Our firm recently introduced an online system for property viewing requests and in the first month it received 51,887 requests in Edinburgh where there are usually between 100 to 150 properties available at any given time and 27,601 requests in Glasgow where the firm usually has 40 to 60 properties. 

“The largest waiting list for a two-bedroom property in Edinburgh is 788 people and the lowest is 101 and there are up to 900 groups of students on a waiting list for every property.”

And Alexander concludes: “Therefore, while the holiday market may suffer from this loss of accommodation the long-term rental market welcomes this much needed addition of housing stock to what is already a market with a severe shortage of properties. I think this trend will accelerate as we head toward next April’s deadline for all holiday lets to have appropriate permission.”

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    The tenant of a flat I have in Manchester vacated in May this year. Due to the new legislation in the pipeline I decided not to re let and the lease does not allow for BNB type lettings. I decided to use it myself as an UK home base, (I live in Cyprus), and that means one less property on the rental market.

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    No mention of hotels being used as illegal immigration hostels which has curtailed the availability of short te accomodation.

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    @edwinMorris time you stopped believing the Daily Mail. Illegal immigrants are held in detention centres not BnBs.
    If they're in a BmB they're most likely people who have fallen on hard times, housed by councils who don't have sufficient social housing or extremely legal asylum seekers.

    • G W
    • 14 October 2022 10:21 AM

    I’m sorry you are misinformed….. I’m aware of the opposite in my area. Illegal immigration isn’t mentioned or discussed in a mature way without racist slurs or insinuations like yours. It’s a fact there is tens of thousands of illegal immigrants that need housing whilst there claims are processed…… why can’t we accept it’s happening and deal with it


    We need a dislike butrton to express our views on inaccurate comments like these of Edwin Morris. For his benefit I can confirm that I booked accommodation in a golf club in Suffolk and the majority of the guests when we stayed were assylum seekers on bed and board. 3 meals a day and roughly £40 per week pocket money.


    Apologies my comments refer to those made by David Rose not Edwin.

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    Inevitable really.

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    A lot moved into ABNB or short let's due to govt trying to drive landlords out of the PRS. Now that is not working, but still there is a shortage of housing to buy. I wonder when "they" will realise that moving property from one sector to another will never work when there is a shortage across the board.

  • Elizabeth Campion

    At a lot of cost to landlords it will all go full circle in the end


    Agreed, costs always go ''full circle'' whatever the business

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    Leaving the Abnb to go into the rental market due to red tape and compliance! Well there’s a contradiction. Welcome to the crazy world of the PRS

    • G W
    • 14 October 2022 10:22 AM

    Said by an estate agent with invested interest (the article not you)

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    Air BnB started as couch surfing/renting out a room in your own house for a few days. It has morphed into a generally unregulated niche business. With various levels of competence renting/buying properties to let out in their entirety. They are a mini-hotel/hostel but with none of the compliance requirements (fire escapes/alarms/etc) that B&Bs and others must rightly comply to.
    I am surprised it has taken this long to regulate this market.
    It has taken many properties out of circulation for long term lets (for good reason) but when we have a housing shortage for those in need of a primary shelter it makes little sense to allow the unregulated use of such a finite resource.
    I suspect it will not be long before this need for planning or at least a license to operate will be nationally required.

    • G W
    • 14 October 2022 13:51 PM

    There’s nothing wrong with Air BnB it’s a great source of income for people. The issue is government regulation and withdrawal of incentives that are making landlords change route but I think many will sell


    There's a LOT wrong with Airbnb, blighting the lives of neighbours with incessant noisy parties, risking the lives of Airbnb guests with no need to adhere to the safety measures which professional hospitality businesses and Landlords providing long term tenancies need to adhere to, aiding and abetting tex evasion with insufficient reporting of Airbnb hosts' earnings to HMRC etc. to list but a few of the issues which need addressed.

    I welcome greater regulation of the short term rentals market and I participate in it but obey the same safety and earnings reporting measures in both my short and long term rentals properties.

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    I hope my understating the levels of students chasing each student flat is not misinterpreted as support for the SNP.

    I had said only around 500 groups of students were chasing every student flat currently but it appears to be around 900!

    Of course the SNP and Green (really red) " government" are not to blame and the decision of many Landlords to pull out of the PRS in the face of losing control of assets worth hundreds of thousands of pounds could not possibly be foreseen!

    It's also not possible to predict that day follows night or an independent Scotland would be a financial disaster for all tax paying Scots.

  • George Dawes

    Every cloud has a ..

    Good riddance


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