CityCyclingEdinburgh Forum » General Edinburgh

"Holiday Flats Edinburgh's Ruin"

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  1. crowriver
    Member

    Another student block is being built in Abbeyhill. This time on Stanley Place, which some may recall was the site of a mysterious and very convenient fire a few years ago.

    Developers got permission after appealing the initial refusal apparently. Planning portal reference 14/05075/FUL Demolition has apparently started this week.

    The area will get even busier now, with more pressure on local services such as GP practices. My main concern with the student accommodation epidemic is that the area becomes full of transient residents with no real stake in the community. On the positive side students who can afford to stay in these blocks tend to be reasonably trouble free neighbours.

    I note from the plans that the flats are all studios with their own kitchens. That's luxury student accommodation, not shared flats with communal kitchens as in some others. There's a gym, but hardly any car parking and lots of cycle storage indicates most are expected to cycle or use public transport.

    Given experience of other similar developments including nearby Brae House, the main problem will be when the students are away during the summer, and the building inevitably becomes an aparthotel for tourists and/or Fringe performers/technical crews. The surrounding streets will be awash with their (illegally) parked vehicles and the area will seem suddenly much busier.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  2. crowriver
    Member

    "The latest figures show there were at least 5,474 properties in the capital which were available for this type of let [AirBnB] in September 2017."

    http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/news/politics/thousands-of-edinburgh-flat-lets-could-be-illegal-1-4606506

    So almost trebled in two years. From another thread (quoting myself): "AirBnB listings for entire homes rose from 2170 to 3472 in just 12 months from January 2015. "

    Posted 7 months ago #
  3. Rosie
    Member

    The data from Airbnb analysts AirDNA shows how the accommodation website has shifted from flat-sharing to property management, with single operations turning over huge sums of money.

    “Airbnb is no longer a community just for individuals renting out their space or properties on their own,” said AirDNA CEO Scott Shatford.

    ...

    “It’s not a good trend for people who use Airbnb for unique accommodation as an alternative for a traditional hotel,” he said. “These people want to meet people, and for them it’s getting harder and harder to decipher what is a corporate rental hotel against the one where Jane is going to meet you at the door and tell you all about the cool things to do in town.”"

    Except for the reviews, which will tell you that. There are two ends to this market - property multi-managers, and individuals with a spare room.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/news/airbnb-top-earnings-cities-landlords/

    Posted 7 months ago #
  4. Klaxon
    Member

    There's a decent amount of purpose built accommodation on AirBnB now as well - I stayed in a holiday home in Croatia whose owner no longer sells directly on conventional websites and now is advertised exclusively on AirBnB through a local English and German speaking agency.

    The pro was an English speaker on the phone - the con was that one advert was actually fronting for a number of properties on the same street, of which you could probably have been allocated into any. I wouldn't have made the booking myself - I don't like turning up to a mystery.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  5. crowriver
    Member

    Makes me pine for the days* when you could just turn up in, say Budapest train station, go to a small kiosk and ask if there was a private room to rent for a couple of nights. Pay a deposit, get a receipt and slip of paper with address on it. Then a mystery tour to an amazing room in a little old lady's rambling apartment, with views over the river. She made tea and breakfast for you in the morning too.

    Simpler times.

    * - Only 20 years ago.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  6. Rosie
    Member

    @crowriver Or get off a bus in a town in Turkey and let a small boy take you to a perfectly decent pensyon. Or in Croatia follow a lady holding a sign saying Room/Chambre/Camio and end up somewhere clean, pleasant and central.

    Last time I did that was in about 2005 - not that long ago.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  7. crowriver
    Member

    @Rosie, similar happened when I was in Ljubliana in 2001. I arrived on a late night train, nowhere to stay. Had been chatting with a local girl who boarded a few stops before. She hailed her uncle at the station, who drove me and my luggage to a relative who duly rented me a spare room for a few days. Totally random but great! I am not sure it would happen now, Slovenia is much more touristy these days. At the time I was very touched by the warmth and honesty of the people and their spontaneity.I soon learned that this is is what the Balkans are (or were) like...

    Posted 7 months ago #
  8. gembo
    Member

    Stayed in a hovel in Lagos (Portugal) by doing that.. Conversely, stayed in beautiful family home in Lagos (Portugal) by doing that. The owner on the Lisbon to Lagos train with a rooms to let card.

    We once let an American girl stay in a flat I rented a room in (not sure owner too chuffed) bt girl was on last train from Glasgow and her plan was to hang out in the stain all night. Waverley closed to public about 1a.m.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  9. Rosie
    Member

    girl was on last train from Glasgow and her plan was to hang out in the stain all night

    Some typos are pure poetry.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  10. neddie
    Member

    @Rosie

    I suspect gembo leaves his typos / autocorrects in deliberately to make his posts all the more amusing...

    Posted 7 months ago #
  11. chdot
    Admin

    Posted 7 months ago #
  12. kaputnik
    Moderator

    @crowriver I found the Brae House student flats advertised on AirBnB this fringestival. Your host was described as "Mario whom I assume was a figment of someone's imagination. I wonder how many of the flats were available this way, I imagine it's as many as they can fill. It turns the place into a self-catering hotel by any other description.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  13. crowriver
    Member

    @kaputnik, why am I not surprised? I can imagine the Bothwell Street accommodation will be similarly listed come next summer...

    Super Mario Bros.

    To be fair, it's probably better that tourism is catered for in properly serviced accommodation rather than tenement flats where the communal bins start overflowing, neighbours are disturbed, security compromised etc. The main problem with the mushrooming aparthotel complexes is that illegal and/or inconsiderate car parking will hit epidemic proportions during the festival period...

    Also, we'll just not get any respite from the festival crowds, even round here. Though that's already started to happen these past ten years or so, especially the last few years Easter Road area very busy with throngs of folk at festival time. Mostly AirBnB guests I presume...

    Posted 7 months ago #
  14. Rosie
    Member

    I had some airbnb guests last weekend for the rugby. They said last time they came here they booked somewhere in a tenement in Foutainbridge. They had problems finding the place and the doors they passed had "No Airbnb" signs.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  15. ARobComp
    Member

    My parents flat is available between December 15th when the tenant moves out and March 1st when the rentals move to Edinburgh. I'll be airbnbing it for them. This is what that platform was meant to be for really along with the classic "host-spare room" type thing.

    I remember in Cuba riding from Sancti Spiritus to Trinidad we had arranged accommodation with the cousin of our host in Sancti Spiritus. They had asked when we might arrive and said that the cousin would be waiting for us at the outskirts of the town. We said we'd be about 2pm setting off at 8am (about 50 miles with heavily loaded touring bikes and hills).

    We got a glorious tail wind and the most beautiful rolling roads you've ever seen and got to Trinidad in about 3.5 hours.

    We found the cousin lounging at the side of the road only one beer into his 6 pack which he'd been planning on drinking while waiting for us to arrive. He was MOST disappointed as he'd clearly used us as an excuse for having a relaxed few hours at the side of the road. We drank his beers with him and had some cigars. Was a most beautiful time. Loved Cuba in '06. Different times with 0 phone reception (no internet we could connect to anyway) and no idea where we'd stay each night. WE managed somehow. Imagine those guys are nailing Airbnb now though!

    Posted 7 months ago #
  16. crowriver
    Member

    Apparently it's all the government's fault, with their "iniquitous" taxes. If you believe landlords that is...

    Landlords turning to holiday lets

    https://www.landlordzone.co.uk/news/landlords-turning-holiday-lets

    Posted 7 months ago #
  17. Iain McR
    Member

    not a very sound argument as HMRC can now access AirBnB details, so once you hit the annual allowance, you canny hide it.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  18. chrisfl
    Member

    Interesting to see that Channings and the Howard Hotels are to be reverted back to residential properties: https://www.thecaterer.com/articles/514866/edinburghs-channings-and-howard-hotels-to-close

    Posted 7 months ago #
  19. bill
    Member

    Last week we got a notice from our landlord that he is going to switch the flat to Airbnb. We have been there for 3 years now but apparently all the regulatory and tax incentives seem to be better for Airbnb letting rather than a long-term tenancy (at least until the council introduces new rules I suppose).

    Posted 6 months ago #
  20. Tulyar
    Member

    One detail for concern though - flat rentals MUST have various compliances - Annual Gas Safety Cert, smoke & heat & CO detectors in appropriate rooms, HMO Licences for more than 2 non-related residents....

    This would not appear to apply to AirBnB properties?

    Just waiting for the first CO poisoning, or fire/gas related incident in the grey property letting market?

    Posted 6 months ago #
  21. acsimpson
    Member

    bill, sorry to hear that. The new tenancy agreements which came into force at the start of December would not allow a landlord to do that. At least not without "refurbishing" the property first.

    Did someone not say that if you are letting on Airbnb on a more than occasional basis that you need to apply for planning permission to change use from commercial to residential. Depending on your relationship with the landlord it may be worth making sure that he is aware of such requirements (and possibly keeping an eye out that the correct permissions are sought). If they do have to apply then there is of course an opportunity to object too.

    However given that planning permission takes at least 12 weeks (IIRC) and I assume you have been given 2 months notice...

    Posted 6 months ago #
  22. jonty
    Member

    That's horrible to hear. Worth sending an email to Lothians MSP Andy Wightman who I think would be very interested in finding out about (another) case of someone getting evicted so their flat can be airbnb'd. He might also be able to give some advice too.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  23. Morningsider
    Member

    acsimpson - I can see why you think the planning system might offer some protection here, but it doesn't at present.

    The Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) (Scotland) Order 1997, sets out 11 broad use classes (e.g. shops, food and drink and business). Generally, any building or land that is being used for a purpose that falls within a use class can be used for any other purpose within that class without the need for planning permission, e.g. under the use class “shops” a travel agent can be turned into a hairdresser without the need for planning permission. It is worth noting that planning permission could still be required if physical alterations to the building carried out to facilitate the change of use meet the definition of “development”.

    Class 9 of the Use Classes Order is “Houses”, which only applies to houses other than flats. Flats do not fall into any of the 11 use classes, which means that changing the use of a flat to anything other than a residential use would require planning permission. However, it is generally accepted that using a flat for short term holiday let (where no additional services are provided to the tenants) is a residential use and does not constitute a change that would require the grant of planning permission, as regulations are currently drafted.

    This issue was raised by the Planning Minister when he made a statement to Parliament on the new Planning Bill yesterday - so it might change in future, but nowhere near quick enough for bill.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  24. crowriver
    Member

    @acsimpson, I don't think there is any such requirement. That's part of the problem.

    @bill, sorry to hear of your misfortune. Alas I fear your case is not unique in this city.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  25. acsimpson
    Member

    Oh well. I guess I was dreaming about living in a citizen friendly city/country again then. Or someone suggested the same mistake that I just made.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  26. bill
    Member

    Thanks @acsimpson, @jonty, @Morningsider, @crowriver. It all sounded a bit dodgy when a couple of days later I read about the changes in the tenancy agreements. It's a bit annoying but we can't really blame him for wanting to make more profit.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  27. jonty
    Member

    To be clear in case anyone reads this and misunderstands, existing tenancy agreements haven't suddenly changed, it's only new agreements that have to use the new form of words. Old ones continue (or not) as before. Hopefully this isn't a misunderstanding your landlord has made!

    Posted 6 months ago #
  28. unhurt
    Member

    @bill that's rotten. I hope you can find somewhere you like someplace you like quickly. (Where are you looking?)

    The fact that basically anyone renting is on a short assured tenancy and can be turfed out with two months notice even if it's beeen their home for years is one of the many things wrong with housing in the UK. (The expression on my friend in Bonn's face when I explained why I was so keen to buy not keep renting was a picture. A picture of "but that is RIDICULOUS. Here we have protections! I will probably always rent!")

    Posted 6 months ago #
  29. Snowy
    Member

    Similar thing happened to friends of mine recently while they were overseas on holiday, resulting in ditching the family holiday to come back and sort it all out. It's really not what you need.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  30. Stickman
    Member

    For rent: 4 bedroom flat. Sleeps thirty-four.

    https://edinburghgroupescapes.com/party-holiday-flats-edinburgh/strathearn-road/

    Posted 6 months ago #

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