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"Holiday Flats Edinburgh's Ruin"

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  1. Tulyar
    Member

    AirBnB also seem to by-pass Landlord Registration (renew every 3 years), annual gas safety test & certificate, fire alarms, et seq

    Perhaps it has to take a fire, or carbon monoxide event to bring the focus down on this?

    More than 2 non-related people and you must have HMO licence and more stringent review of fire escape etc - and neighbour notification to use the property for this - unless its an AirBnB it seems.

    Posted 10 months ago #
  2. chdot
    Admin

    Writing on the Edinburgh Reporter website, McCall Smith said: “We need to stop filling the centre of the city with hotels.

    https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/news/entertainment/alexander-mccall-smith-save-edinburgh-from-tourism-boom-1-4643975

    Posted 10 months ago #
  3. ejstubbs
    Member

    @Tulyar: More than 2 non-related people and you must have HMO licence and more stringent review of fire escape etc - and neighbour notification to use the property for this

    My understanding is that a traditional letting agent would (has to?) ensure that all the above is properly in place before agreeing to market the property. Perhaps it's time that Airb'n'b was ruled to be a letting agent, in the same way that Uber was been ruled to be a taxi firm yesterday.

    Posted 10 months ago #
  4. the canuck
    Member

    not sure about scotland, but in england i was shocked to learn that if the tenancy is short term (less than 2 weeks), people letting out rooms in their houses to under-18s aren't required to go through any sort of checks, personal or property-wise. it's at the discretion of the person letting the room.

    which means that people sending their young teens off for a week of english classes have to trust that the school organising it has taken time to get to know the person offering a space in their home!

    Posted 9 months ago #
  5. the canuck
    Member

    and agree with the Uber analogy. airbnb IS a letting agent.

    Posted 9 months ago #
  6. chdot
    Admin

  7. chdot
    Admin

  8. Rosie
    Member

    @chdot

    On the McCall Smith link:-

    From Stuart Hay@StreetWurrier on Twitter

    "This is a global phenomenon where unique places are commercialised within an increasingly standardised virtual world. The more unique the place the more the pressure. Great places need strong local democracy, institutions and empowered communities to thrive. "

    "In Scotland we have councils too big to be local (no boroughs) Too small to be strategic (no regions) Too centralised in terms of funding (gov Grant dependant). And a political debate too narrow to see how this is failing our unique places and communities."

    I would like to see Holyrood abolished and the Regional Councils brought back. However that really would be wishing for the moon.

    Abolishing the Lothian Regional Council was a blow to getting cycling integrated across the Lothians.

    Posted 9 months ago #
  9. chdot
    Admin

  10. gembo
    Member

    Not sure about the size issue. For example Midlothian is the size of a small English borough. Edinburgh now is about the size of Lothian Region fifteen years ago,

    Posted 9 months ago #
  11. chdot
    Admin

    "Edinburgh now is about the size of Lothian Region fifteen years ago,"

    Well no.

    It might have the population numbers that were previously spread across the whole region, but the rest now has more people too.

    I have nostalgia for Lothian Region days, but recognise it was a time when LAs had more money (though it didn't seem like enough!) and (perhaps) better politicians.

    There is not much prospect of any useful reorganisation - or significantly better resources.

    It would be helpful (just for transport) if SG backed the work of SEStran.

    Posted 9 months ago #
  12. gembo
    Member

    @chdot I am arguing that Stuart hay is wrong about boroughs and regions in this neck of the woods in Scotland as Edinburgh now is the same size as LRC was in 1994. I made no reference to increased sizes of smaller neighbouring authorities now.

    What I am arguing is that it is not a size thing. Not for Edinburgh. Edinburgh is big enough unitary authority to really make a difference. The politicians of West Lothian will never hitch their wagon to Edinburgh again, they feel they received the sticky end of the lollipop the last time. For me the issue in local government is the party politics. Larger national beefs are played out in minature. The coalition in Edinburgh operates within red lines but does not deliver a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts because of the party politics. A proper coalition would take the undoubted good people on all sides and work for the greater good of Edinburgh which is a good sized authority with so much going for it.

    Posted 9 months ago #
  13. chdot
    Admin

    “I am arguing that Stuart hay is wrong about boroughs and regions in this neck of the woods in Scotland as Edinburgh now is the same size as LRC was in 1994.”

    That’s fine but surely there is no magic population figure that makes things better/possible?

    “For me the issue in local government is the party politics. Larger national beefs are played out in minature. The coalition in Edinburgh operates within red lines but does not deliver a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts because of the party politics.”

    That’s certainly an issue. Don’t think there is much possibility of a return to many independents get elected (even less of Parties being banned from putting up candidates!)

    “A proper coalition would take the undoubted good people on all sides and work for the greater good of Edinburgh which is a good sized authority with so much going for it.”

    I have previously said that I think Green councillors should have joined CEC coalitions. Most Green politicians disagree and prefer their current way of operating.

    Posted 9 months ago #
  14. gembo
    Member

    I think when local authorities were split up in the mid nineties several unitary authorities were created that were too small. For instance Clackmannanshire is half the size of one of edinbuegh's four localities (e.g. Has only three secondary schools). Whereas back in the day Strathclyde Regional Council was vast unmanageable entity. So somewhere in between like Edinburgh. I think an optimal size. So for me we should be moderately superior given to other local authorities.

    The Twitter exchange between prof doc Scott, nick cook and Jo Mowatt was at least restrained.

    The tribalism in Scottish politics abides.

    Posted 9 months ago #
  15. chdot
    Admin

    “I think an optimal size. So for me we should be moderately superior given to other local authorities.”

    “should” - which remains the problem...

    “The tribalism in Scottish politics abides.”

    Yes, but generally less so than in many other parts of Scotland.

    At a more practical level the ‘tribalism’ is often caricatured as between those who want ‘more of the same/“development” ‘ and those who are alleged to be ‘against development’/“the cycle lobby” ‘

    Clearly there is so much ‘middle ground’ between those, notional, positions that there should be massive scope for, not so much compromise as, vision for better.

    Generally this has required leadership - usually Political.

    It used to be that the Cockburn was a useful/powerful voice/advocate, but it seems to have retreated or declined.

    In the big scheme of things the successes of the ‘cycle lobby’ are important, but relatively minor.

    This thread - “holiday flats’ - is a symptom of a constant, ongoing, issue of ‘what is Edinburgh for” which often doesn’t stray far from the City Centre.

    It seldom goes much further than “tourists are money”, “large developments are good”, “more, faster, roads better”, “significant population growth inevitable”, “more people will be priced out and have to live in Lothians/Fife”.

    Meanwhile CEC has less money than ever and the potholes are getting bigger.

    Something is not working according to the way the glossy brochures imply...

    REVISION

    Seems Cockburn came out of hiding a couple of weeks ago -

    http://citycyclingedinburgh.info/bbpress/topic.php?id=18183&page=18#post-270989

    Posted 9 months ago #
  16. Rosie
    Member

    Slightly OT but the thread has drifted to general governance. Being a high up in the public services is very lucrative it seems:-

    http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/15799209.Kevin_McKenna__All_aboard_the_Caledonian_public_sector_gravy_train/?ref=twtrec

    Posted 9 months ago #
  17. piosad
    Member

    On the topic of size, it's pretty ridiculous that we have a single level of local government. Norway with roughly the same population in Scotland and similar geographical challenges has 19 regions (now being rationalized due to right-wingers in power) and a whopping 426 local authorities. The regions take care of things like trunk roads, public transport, health & social care or secondary education where there are obvious economies of scale to be had (and which cost more than a single LA can carry) but the LAs do the rest. Translated into Scottish conditions this would mean something like Fife would be a region and Dunfermline/Kirkcaldy/Glenrothes/St Andrews/Levenmouth/East Neuk would all be LAs making real choices for local people rather than trying to balance all their competing demands in an oversized council. Not sure 426 is the right number for Scotland but surely the real answer is closer to that than to 32.

    (Full disclosure I'm a Green Party member so I would say that.)

    Posted 9 months ago #
  18. gembo
    Member

    @piosad, if you count the number of council wards it might add up to 400plus. I think we are saying roughly same thing.or at least that some unitary authorities need to merge. E.g. Clacks with Stirling Falkirk and maybe west Lothian to go back to maybe 20 bigger authorities.

    The Scot gov has pushed this in its new Regional Collaboratives but theses are almost random and vary between two large ones Edinburgh Fife, mid and east Lothain and borders collaborative being the second biggest. The one in the west is Strathclyde minus argylland bute and one other far flung council. A couple of mid sized and a couple of smaller ones.

    If you look at education in England where it has been removed from local authorities to the extent that the schools run themselves it is worse than when it was in local authority control. Scot gov is claiming it wants to avoid this,........

    Posted 9 months ago #
  19. piosad
    Member

    But the Norwegian regions aren’t government-mandated cooperations, they’re elected authorities with their own deliberative assemblies and budgets. Big difference. Two tiers of democracy with a rational division of labour. What ScotGov is proposing isn’t reform, and certainly not democratic renewal, it’s much worse as it will just take even more divisions into a bureaucratic arena rather than into local democracy.

    Posted 9 months ago #
  20. gembo
    Member

    @piosad, agreed. Btw Scotgov proposals are going ahead despite the fact that they received an overwhelming No to the first consultation but are ploughing on basing their programme on a partial citing of an OECD paper on educational autonomy and accountability (they have ignored the whole bit in the paper where the authors say you cannot have autonomy without accountability). Also ignoring that in the study UK was third most autonomous country for schools already.

    It is what you might call Shocking. I said I was very disappointed with them in my second response to their second consultation (well the same consultation but with the hope of consultation fatigue or we give better answers than the last time).

    Posted 9 months ago #
  21. Morningsider
    Member

    The Planning Bill will see regional development plans and the associated authorities scrapped - with the regional elements of the Scottish Government produced National Planning Framework (NPF) beefed up. The NPF will be merged with the Scottish Planning Policy. The policies set out in the NPF will then automatically become a part of every local authority's local development plan, with fairly limited scope for truly local policies developed by individual local authorities.

    Apparently this isn't centralisation though - so that's okay.

    Posted 9 months ago #
  22. gembo
    Member

    @morningsider, yes Scotgov can be central local or both and it is all correct. They can say something is localisation when it is clearly centralisation and that is fine too.

    Posted 9 months ago #
  23. LaidBack
    Member

    Tourist cull fun from Bella Caledonia.
    http://bellacaledonia.org.uk/2018/01/08/tourist-cull/

    Posted 9 months ago #
  24. chdot
    Admin

  25. chdot
    Admin

  26. wangi
    Member

    https://twitter.com/talkporty/status/953766413235380226

    So, lets get this straight - a 90 day limit, but excluding Aug, Dec and Jan. I'll help @Airbnb with the maths - that would be a ~180 day limit, which isn't much of a limit at all. In fact, it's half a year. It is a joke.

    And "average Scottish host lets ... 38 days a year" is text book using stats to paint the picture you want. Tell us what *median* is. Very large number of properties renting for say a week a year skews average away from the mass which are full time. Plus that's Scotland, not Edinburgh.

    Posted 9 months ago #
  27. gibbo
    Member

    @wangi

    And "average Scottish host lets ... 38 days a year" is text book using stats to paint the picture you want. Tell us what *median* is.

    You're spot on. This is one of the (many) situations where average should be ignored and median used.

    Posted 9 months ago #
  28. neddie
    Member

    that would be a ~180 day limit, which isn't much of a limit at all.

    I think AirBnB are trying to "get in first" with their own (unenforced) limit, before the council crack down and set something sensible like 21 days.

    Plus that psychological thing of stating a ridiculously large number first in any negotiation

    Posted 9 months ago #
  29. Rosie
    Member

    I did let my room on airbnb most of last year & got totally fed up with the amount of work & the intrusion on my home. So have now reverted to an ordinary flatmate.

    I would guess that a lot of share your home airbnb hosts wouldn't want to do it outwith the peak periods.

    Posted 9 months ago #
  30. ih
    Member

    The 'median' (middle one) isn't going to help you here either. in any scenario where there are more shorter period airBnB hosts than longer ones, the median will be lower than the 'mean' (average) so that will skew the figures even more from the annoying almost full-time hosts.

    We need much more granularity to show where the long and full-time hosts are based and how they are hollowing out residential areas. The report, which I think is linked to upthread, shows a map of Edinburgh with a red dot for each registered host. It's frightening how densely the registered hosts now dominate many parts of the city, and assuming that many in the most tourist-attractive areas are longer or full-time hosts, it will certainly have a big impact on residential areas.

    Posted 9 months ago #

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