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"Holiday Flats Edinburgh's Ruin"

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  1. chdot
    Admin

    "

    The Death of Edinburgh city centre residential community by short-term holiday letting

    "

    https://www.facebook.com/Holiday-Flats-Edinburghs-Ruin-1676269362645337/

    http://www.channel4.com/programmes/airbnb-dream-or-nightmare

    Posted 1 year ago #
  2. kaputnik
    Moderator

    https://www.airdna.co/city/gb/edinburgh?report=gb_edinburgh

    For those not on Facebook, the above map plotting out all the Airbnbs in Edinburgh is quite something.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  3. jdanielp
    Member

    Between that and student accommodation...

    Posted 1 year ago #
  4. Rosie
    Member

    44% private rooms - so that's the spare room in a house or flat.

    74% rented 1-3 months per year - which suggests to me people doing what my friend does - renting out her place during the Festival/summer/Hogmanay and moving in with her boyfriend or going on holiday. She used to do that via an agency and now does it via airbnb, which has simpler administration and takes a very small cut from the landlords.

    So I don't know if that has meant a huge increase of renting out short-term accommodation, just that it's been centralised under airbnb.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  5. gembo
    Member

    Who is going to stay in all the new hotels if everyone is holidaying in these flats?

    Posted 1 year ago #
  6. Nelly
    Member

    That Facebook page sounds a bit like "Kids not Suits"........

    Posted 1 year ago #
  7. PS
    Member

    The location mapping on that airdna site is somewhat sketchy - at least I hope it is, otherwise punters are being sold 2 bedroom accommodation in the middle of Queen Street Gardens.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  8. PS
    Member

    Also, on the basis of the relatively low daily rates for a number of the flats identified, I'd say that it was capturing normal (non-holiday) rental flats as well.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  9. Rosie
    Member

    @PS - I do airbnb and for the next few weeks I have an Indian couple staying. The bloke is working at Egon. From November to January a German bloke is staying. He is working at the German market.

    They are staying at a reduced rate. About 50% more than an ordinary flatmate, a lot cheaper than an ordinary B&B. Also much less hassle than going the spareroom.co.uk route. They are vouched by airbnb so there's some protection and you don't have to meet them first. That's convenient for people booking from overseas.

    I stayed for 6 weeks at an airbnb while my flat was being renovated and the people there mostly took long term bookings from foreign students.

    In summer I'll have some short term holiday stays and will charge more though of course there's more work in it, with constant changing of bedding and cleaning.

    I did see the Channel 4 programme and thought the people complaining that their block was turned over to airbnb had reason on their side - but that wouldn't be typical of most airbnb. In fact it utilises bedrooms that wouldn't otherwise be used, because it is so easy to organise, as airbnb does all the administration.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  10. kaputnik
    Moderator

    otherwise punters are being sold 2 bedroom accommodation in the middle of Queen Street Gardens.

    I shared this with some others who had concerns about AirBnBs in their tenements and they also observed the mapping data was a bit off. I assume it is taking a fix off partial postcode, or postcode without street number and so is plonking the data point in the middle of the postcode boundary area.

    So best viewed at not too granular a resolution.

    I suppose it's one of these things that is fine in moderation and the problems only begin when you get saturation in a particular area or unscrupulous persons using it to run unofficial hotels or short-let property empires.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  11. Rosie
    Member

    @kaptunik

    I suppose it's one of these things that is fine in moderation and the problems only begin when you get saturation in a particular area or unscrupulous persons using it to run unofficial hotels or short-let property empires.

    Agreed. It's very low level where I live in Roseburn. I used to wonder about obvious holiday makers wandering around here with their airline cases - what on earth would attract them? Then when I started doing the airbnb found that a couple of others were doing it, renting a spare bedroom. Roseburn has excellent transport links to the airport and city centre so is a reasonable place to stay.

    It's unregulated at present in the UK but some places have come down on it eg Barcelona because of tourist saturation.

    I've found it a positive experience so far, not just for the money. It's budget travellers, usually friendly and easy-going, and some highly appreciative of the beauties of Roseburn (i.e. the walk along the river to Dean Village).

    I think that I'm doing my bit for our local economy as they use the shops (okay, Tesco) and the pubs and cafes (those who oppose the cycle route).

    Posted 1 year ago #
  12. chdot
    Admin

    @Rosie

    Simplistically there are two sorts of airbnb - spare room/flat sharing - like you do - and whole flats which in a small number of areas can 'take over'.

    Someone I know in the Grassmarket sent me this recently -

    "

    My stair was entirely council flats. Mine was the last to go private. We are now three owner occupiers. One rented out with a landlord in London. The final two are STRs or Short Term Rentals. A bit of a source of anxiety for us owner occupiers. I imagine residents elsewhere are fed up with this invasion of STRs. 33% residents at * Grassmarket replaced by tourists constantly flowing in and out.

    Sites like airbnb, homeaway, flipkey, trivago, booking.com, apts-edinburgh, hometogo, holidaylettings, housetrip, tripadvisor, edinburgh-flats and many more are making it really easy for any property in Edinburgh to turn into a mini hotel fulltime.

    "

    Posted 1 year ago #
  13. Rosie
    Member

    @chdot - yeah, that is probably fair & a problem for anyone in the picturesque part of an historical city.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  14. Rosie
    Member

    & I don't want Edinburgh to go the way of Venice - a tourist theme park.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  15. chdot
    Admin

    "

    A CITY MSP has called for new controls over the growing number of holiday lets and student flats in the Old Town.

    Lothian Green MSP Andy Wightman used a debate at Holyrood on Edinburgh’s World Heritage Site to urge the Scottish Government to include measures in its proposed Planning Bill to ensure “some democratic control” over the use made of properties in sensitive areas.

    "

    http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/news/politics/fears-over-holiday-lets-and-student-flats-in-old-town-1-4319237

    Posted 11 months ago #
  16. chdot
    Admin

  17. chdot
    Admin

  18. Rosie
    Member

    @chdot

    I wondered about the stats for that article. It said "41" in Balgreen & Roseburn, which sounded quite a lot to me. I assume they lump together the private room with the full blown apartment, and the occasional letting over the Festival with all the year around.

    I wonder if the private room will be scooped up in the net if they decide to make a licence obligatory. Then I read in one of the comments:-

    "One of the real scandals is that properties which are registered as holiday lets rather than 'ordinary' residential don't pay Council Tax, they pay business rates. And the owner then claims small business relief on the rates bill (available at 100% if the rateable value of the properties is under £15,000) and pays nothing at all towards rubbish collection or any of the other services used by the 'guests'."

    I do think a tourist tax would be reasonable and some control over apartments in high tourist areas.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  19. Nelly
    Member

    "and the owner then claims small business relief on the rates bill (available at 100% if the rateable value of the properties is under £15,000)"

    True, but they also have to incorporate as a real business, and hence lose the tax breaks on the mortgage financing and CGT that small time BTL landlords get.

    It's not quite the free lunch.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  20. crowriver
    Member

    Edinburgh, like a number of other cities around Europe, has become a year round global tourism destination. It's been noticeable over the past month that the day trip coaches are once more lined up on Regent Road: they'll be there now until October. Also I keep getting asked for directions and even information about what building or landmark I happen to be passing. Soon high season will be upon us and the city centre will be completely awash with visitors.

    It's all part and parcel of living here and I don't begrudge people their right to enjoy our beautiful city. However we do need to ensure that the subsequent toll on our public infrastructure is paid for in some way. The hotels, restaurants, shops and so on that benefit from tourism do (mostly) contribute through business rates. However informal holiday lets and the likes of airbnb do not. So yes a tourist tax of some sort seems sensible. If we don't have that, then the public realm of Edinburgh will inevitably degrade at a faster rate than it can be maintained.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  21. Rosie
    Member

    As far as the local economy is concerned people staying a few days will be more likely to use the local cafes, pubs and takeaway shops and local Tesco's. The Spanish who were staying the other weekend showed me a picture of the full Scottish breakfast they had had at the Roseburn Café (which I'd recommended). Long term stay people will go out less and do big shops at Sainsbury's. The Indians who were with me for 6 weeks used the Asian shops in Gorgie Road. However saturation of catering for tourists is bad news for locals.

    I've thought Edinburgh hasn't managed too badly - for instance pubs in the Royal Mile aren't/weren't tourist only.

    However the Council has been luring people here more and more with different festival, trying to sell the city, and may be a victim of its own success.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  22. chdot
    Admin

    "may be a victim of its own success"

    It would be nice think that there were some vaguely reliable figures for costs and benefits of tourism (and other things where benefits may be overestimated/undercosted - driving/parking etc).

    Tourism is much more accepted as a 'good thing' than it was 20-30 years ago. Probably just as well as there is much more of it.

    Whether spending on the city centre, Festivals etc is of benefit to the wider city will always be contested. Perhaps the income - and the ability to measure/tax is more important(?)

    A bed tax, clampdown on 'extreme' airbnb and suchlike ought to be side issues. UK/Scottish cities should have much more control of income raising.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  23. chdot
    Admin

  24. Rosie
    Member

    @chdot - re city control of income, agreed.

    Visiting some cities eg Dubrovnik is like going to an international or rock concert - human traffic jams.

    I don't know how you control tourist flow via accommodation though. Some (like mine) is mixed between tourists and people working here or staying a short time until they find somewhere to live.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  25. chdot
    Admin

    "mixed between tourists and people working here or staying a short time"

    Of course the definition of "tourist" is inexact. Defining it for tax purposes would be a mistake.

    Personally I would revise the tax system such that small scale income generation would be irrelevant in a tax sense.

    Universal income, paid for by (for instance) 25% VAT (with maybe 5% going to LAs).

    In addition some better form of land valuation tax, plus internet sales, plus multi-nationals, plus...

    Can't be hard, that's what politicians are for - looking after people not vested interests...

    Posted 7 months ago #
  26. crowriver
    Member

    Moral dilemma time for airbnb landlords?

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-39528479

    Personally, I find the outrage of "Colin" a bit much. Prosecco and Pinot Grigio indeed. How very dare they!

    Posted 7 months ago #
  27. Rosie
    Member

    @crowriver - As far as I know the room I rent out in my flat hasn't been used as a pop-up brothel. The butt of a spliff has been the only evidence of dodgy goings on (no smell of smoke, so they must have smoked it outside, so observing house rules).

    Posted 7 months ago #
  28. chdot
    Admin

    "

    Just learned that Berlin banned short-term entire home/flat rents via @Airbnb to help keep rent more affordable.

    "

    https://mobile.twitter.com/jamieszymko/status/860945171151806464

    Posted 6 months ago #
  29. Rosie
    Member

    Research by the Scottish Green Party suggests that about half the homes in the EH1 postcode will be holidays lets by 2050.

    They are calling for more regulation on short-term lets.

    But others say the trend is boosting the local economy as more people holiday in Edinburgh.

    Some home-owners have complained they can only afford to live in the area if they rent out their property at peak times.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-edinburgh-east-fife-39836433

    Posted 6 months ago #
  30. Rosie
    Member

    On a recent holiday we stayed in an apartment in Bratislava's old town (not airbnb). Very convenient for us, but the old town did feel like a tourist ghetto - though other people in the apartment block looked like locals.

    The city put on events in its old town like concerts, free entry into historic buildings, kids competitions and parades which got the locals back into enjoying their own old town.

    Posted 6 months ago #

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