CityCyclingEdinburgh Forum » General Edinburgh

"Holiday Flats Edinburgh's Ruin"

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  1. Nelly
    Member

    @Rosie Similar situation happened with Prague. I was there 20 years ago (pre Stag Party central) and it felt like a real city (real shops, bars, restaurants).

    Fast Forward 5 years, and every 2nd shop in the city centre was tourist tat, and every restaurant had a laminated menu in English.

    It shocked me how quickly it came.

    While it has issues, Edinburgh city centre would need to go some get anywhere near that level.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  2. neddie
    Member

    How can the Green party extrapolate demand out to 2050? It's completely ridiculous to think they can predict what's going to happen over the next 33 years.

    Particularly with the added uncertainties of Trump / Brexit / Indy2, etc.

    Maybe oil will be scarce by then and flying on holiday a once in a lifetime luxury???

    Most businesses have no more than a 5-year business plan, never mind a 33 year plan.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  3. crowriver
    Member

    "every 2nd shop in the city centre was tourist tat, and every restaurant had a laminated menu in English.

    It shocked me how quickly it came.

    While it has issues, Edinburgh city centre would need to go some get anywhere near that level."

    Er.....that's pretty much what quite a bit of central Edinburgh is like! Royal Mile, South Bridge, spring to mind.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  4. Rothar
    Member

    @nedd1e_h:
    Looks like it's a forecast based on current rates of registration (page 5 of paper here - https://greens.scot/sites/default/files/20170403%20-%20Briefing%20Paper%20on%20Short%20Term%20Lets%20v.FINAL-1.pdf)

    Posted 5 years ago #
  5. neddie
    Member

    There are, of course, some caveats associated with this forecasting. For example, it is likely that the number of new hosts will not rise as consistently each year [for the next 33 years] due to market saturation

    So a completely bogus "straight-line" extrapolation out to 2050. (Figure 4 / Page 7)

    To me this only demonstrates one of two things:
    - the authors of the briefing have no real understanding of real life / real markets.
    - or they are trying to create "alt facts" to further a cause

    That sort of misinformation only serves to undermine my opinions of the Greens, unfortunately.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  6. Frenchy
    Member

    A kinder interpretation would be that they only can do this simplistic analysis because modelling the effect of, for example, Scottish independence, would be bloody hard.

    They're not saying "We think the rate will continue at an average of 111/year", they're saying "If it does continue at the current rate, then this is what will happen". It's a way of helping people visualise what "111/year" will result in, in the long term. Not the way I would try and visualise it, though (I'd prefer them to have explicitly told us what percentage of flats are currently short term rents (it's 6%)).

    I'd be surprised if reports from other political parties are generally any better or worse at this kind of thing too (but would also prefer that the Greens tried to set a good example).

    Posted 5 years ago #
  7. chdot
    Admin

  8. Rosie
    Member

    "While renting private rooms in houses could be positive, and allow tourists a real and authentic experience of a city, this type of rental tended to be in the minority, he said. “This is evident by the number of key safes that you see. When many properties are removed from the social infrastructure it can be a real blight.”"

    Does this mean that key safes don't indicate private rooms?

    Posted 5 years ago #
  9. gembo
    Member

    @rosie, yes a key safe indicates no one else in the house, I guess, else you would get a key off them when you arrived.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  10. dessert rat
    Member

    you don't see too many key safes at the moment in New Town, there are a few but not common. I know as I'm always looking for them.

    We have one (hidden behind a plant pot) and do private room AirBnB, but the two are not related. The key safe is because Mrs McR is quite a fan of locking herself out.

    I would say generally key safes do not indicate private room AirBnB, as you always want to meet the person who will be staying in your house ASAP and set out the rules etc..

    Also, from a practical point of view, if you take away anything that's cast iron, there's generally precious little to lock one to.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  11. Rosie
    Member

    Or, as in my case, you're at work during the day and can't be in for guests who can arrive at any time. I have a key safe.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  12. ih
    Member

    @Rosie it's not brilliantly worded but I think he means that private room lets (where the guest rents a room within a house that is still occupied by the owner) are in a minority compared with whole dwelling lets (where the owner is absent, and may be running several properties on this basis). The latter will tend to remove housing from the local population.

    Personally I have some qualms about Airbnb, especially the whole dwelling rentals. Like motorised transport, in managed quantities, it seems like a good thing, but beyond a certain point it can have serious ramifications.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  13. dessert rat
    Member

    @ Rosie - we get round that by just stating a post 5pm check-in time. If its in the site description, I find people don't mind as if they've booked, then they've accepted that condition.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  14. Rosie
    Member

    @ Iain McR My lot are coming from the airport and can dump off their luggage and then go out for the day. I often will only see them for a few minutes in the late evening.
    @ih - I have qualms too about historic centres going full airbnb, not that has stopped me from renting airbnbs in historic centres.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  15. Min
    Member

    A key safe doesn't necessarily mean an Airbnb but lots of them in an area is probably a good indicator. I have a neighbour with one but it is because she has carers coming in.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  16. Rosie
    Member

    @Min - yes - no doubt that's what I'll be using it for all too soon.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  17. chdot
    Admin

    "

    IMAGINE you have just bought a flat in Edinburgh’s New Town. Everything looks peachy. Then you hear the scrape of suitcases and stilettos, as braying students settle in upstairs for the new term. Soon the weekend parties begin. When you complain, their parents, who own the flat, call you a killjoy.

    Meanwhile, from downstairs comes the drumbeat of Airbnb guests keeping alley-cat hours. The grocer on the corner has long since disappeared, and there is not a butcher or affordable bakery within an easy walk. Welcome to the land of metro shops and Harvey Nichol’s deli counter.

    "

    http://www.heraldscotland.com/opinion/15489209.Rosemary_Goring__Can_anyone_halt_the_relentless_destruction_of_Edinburgh_/?ref=mrb&lp=2

    Posted 5 years ago #
  18. chrisfl
    Member

    "Edinburgh’s reputation as a centre of culture and learning. In other words, of enlightenment. What an old-fashioned concept that now seems" says woman complaining about students and the world's largest arts festival.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  19. gembo
    Member

    Pretty hard now for the bank of mum and dad to buy a property to allow their student children to become landlords of their flat mates. Flats in student land increasingly bought by companies.

    Part of being a student is learning how to be human. Historically in less developed parts of the globe the young men (normally just the men) leave the village as a group only return when the rite of passage to adulthood/being human is complete.

    If these students in our context live above you then part of your responsibility is to teach them how to be human and to care for the rest of humanity. The methods you employ can include talking to them when they are sober (some of them are quite reasonable), contacting their letting agent, contacting the noise police etc.

    One group of the students who lived above me felt quite guilty about their noise. Mostly I think because at one party I was in the close trying to figure what the water coming down the stairs was, which once I had figured this out entailed me joining the party with my bucket and mop and getting the culprits to swab. They would let us know after that when they were having parties. You could manage them a little through the letting agent but often had to start again when a new lot moved in. When the children were young we had to move out of town.

    Surely anyone buying a flat in the new town or marchmont would know they were going to be living amongst students?

    Posted 5 years ago #
  20. Murun Buchstansangur
    Member

    Having experienced pretty similar to the article, I agree with gembo that most student lets can be 'managed' through carrot (building a relationship with them eg storing stuff for likeable ones over summer) & stick (letting agent etc) - my wife became a dab hand at getting this right. Whether she should have had to spend her time doing so is another question.

    Festival and short-term lets are an absolute menace though. For us, record festival over-occupation in 4 bedroom flat below was 20 17yos from a drama group with no adult supervision (presumably they had sensibly found somewhere quieter to sleep?). You can imagine the rest.

    All of which ultimately contributed to our decision to move to a house, despite loving our flat and the area. Unfortunately we were pretty sure the purchaser of our old place had AirBnB pound signs in his eyes.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  21. neddie
    Member

    Surely anyone buying a flat in the new town or marchmont would know they were going to be living amongst students?

    Students are what keep places like Marchmont alive & vibrant. They keep the local shops, bars, cafes and eateries open. Occasionally, you have to steer them a little, as gembo says...

    In any case, more and more families are moving back to Marchmont - you'd be amazed to find out how many families are living there. And still quite a few older couples too. The social scene and number of kids in our back green(s) cannot be beaten - it feels like the village green of days yonder.

    Part of being a student is learning how to be human

    It always used to amuse us on our stairwell when you would meet students that were 'barely socialised'. Sometimes you'd say hello and get no response back... Nothing. Nada.

    It's like, didn't your mother even teach you to say hello back to people when they say hello?

    Posted 5 years ago #
  22. chdot
    Admin

    "It's like, didn't your mother even teach you to say hello back to people when they say hello?"

    I'm sure some students are shy, others so into themselves that they don't 'relate', many unsure how to cope after years of stranger danger messages.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  23. Tulyar
    Member

    We've managed since the mid 1970's with flats rammed with theatre groups, with high density packing in (I recall one flat where famously 4 couples were in a single room and with a near unified intent began doing what couples do, with the rest of those in the flat not quite knowing what to say the next day...)

    However this clearly falls foul of the HMO legislation, that is in place to ensure proper fire and other safety measures are catered for. In that 40+ years Edinburgh's been relatively lucky compared to Glasgow, with no fire-trap tragedies. Unlike flats that are let by registered landlords are airbnb going to meet requirements such as the annual gas safety test, a mains-connected set of smoke and heat detectors, a fire extinguisher and fire blanket in the kitchen. PAT tested appliances etc, and for any flat let to more than 2 unrelated people, a licence for HMO.

    Grenfell might well prompt a closer look at such issues, especially where the only exit from your close is via a central stair and exit to the street, as some I know of are, in the old town especially, a point that also became apparent in the early projects to look at 'homebikepark' cycle storage in tenement blocks between 1998 and 2006.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  24. chdot
    Admin

  25. chdot
    Admin

  26. kaputnik
    Moderator

    I note that the EEN uses the example of a student whose life was made a misery by a stags and hens flat above.

    My experience of living in tenements with students around is that most are fairly quiet most of the time and largely keep themselves to themselves. There were the occasional party but these normally seem to gravitate to the larger flats in the swisher ends of the neighbourhood. Students are likely to be around at least a year and often longer, they aren't the sort of short-term tenants that really cos the problems the documentary is getting at.

    My logic as a student was always to have parties at /other/ peoples' flats and never in my own. Much less mess to clean up and less likelihood of expensive damage bills.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  27. crowriver
    Member

    The comments are interesting. It seems many of the same commenters who regularly fulminate against the "war on the motorist", lambast cyclists, the trams, the council, and so on, are only too sympathetic to the plight of (apparently retired) flat owners who have every right to let their properties out short term if that's what they want to do; Wightman can shove it, government panel a waste of taxpayers' money, etc.

    Johnstone Press comments appear to be almost exclusively the preserve of elderly Conserevative & Unionist Party supporters/sympathisers. I suppose that's true to form...

    Posted 5 years ago #
  28. Rosie
    Member

    There was something on BBC Radio 4 the other week as part of a tourism documentary.

    In Holland you can rent out a property via airbnb for 60 days per year. They can track via airbnb.

    The ease of renting via airbnb has exacerbated this.

    Many of Europe's finest cities - Amsterdam, Venice, Barcelona - are suffering from mass tourism.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  29. Rosie
    Member

    If the Cooncil wanted to stop this they'd cease having Festivals every 5 minutes. One in August is enough.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  30. Rosie
    Member

    @crowriver - Yes, I imagine them living in the Grange or Murrayfield and buying an investment flat or 3 in the holiday spots.

    Posted 5 years ago #

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