Short-term lets consultation: response analysis

Independent analysis of the responses submitted to the short-term lets consultation on a regulatory framework for Scotland.

Examples of Impacts of Short-term Lets

82. Question 6 asked,

Q6: 'Do you have any examples of other positive or negative impacts of short-term lets?'

83. A total of 833 respondents commented at this question, some of whom reiterated their answers to the previous questions. The following table provides a breakdown of those who chose to respond.

Table 10: Q6

Affected resident 461
Community organisation 53
Guest 50
Host with 1 property 165
Host with 2+ properties 88
Platform 2
Host intermediary 15
Hotel / B&B owner 9
Local authority 16
Other (non short-term let) landlord 13
Other business 28
Other 92
Total organisations 93
Individuals 740
Total respondents 833

84. As in question 5, greater numbers of negative impacts than positive impacts were given by respondents; examples of positive impacts tended to be given by hosts and hosting intermediaries and examples of negative impacts by affected residents and community organisations; guests, local authorities and other businesses gave a mix.

85. Negative impacts broadly reflected respondents' views provided in question 5; the most frequent examples (given by a small minority of affected residents and community organisations) related to disturbances caused to residents, effects on their wellbeing and their security and safety. Examples given by affected residents largely related to experiences in tenement or communal block living where short-term lets are present.

86. Negative experiences and examples, mainly raised by small minorities of affected residents and community organisations, also included:

  • 'Party flats' and over-occupied short-term lets.
  • Increased rubbish generation and problems with recycling and waste management.
  • Key safe or key box issues.

87. Other experiences in living with short-term lets in communal blocks were related to difficulties in solving communal issues, in particular contacting absent hosts. Negative or damaging community effects were also frequently mentioned.

88. General concerns about the loss of long-term residential accommodation to the short-term letting market were also expressed by in particular a small minority of community organisations. Examples of those who experience issues in finding long-term accommodation included students and travelling workers.

89. Positive examples broadly reflected the positive impacts given in question 5, although the most often mentioned examples centred around those of short-term lets providing an alternative positive experience for visitors, as noted below:

"When my young family and I travel, whether within Scotland or abroad, short-term lets are the only option we will use due to the convenience and flexibility it offers our whole family. Sometimes these are sourced via Airbnb and sometimes via alternatives, such as more traditional letting providers. Wherever we go we contribute to the local economy in many ways. If there was a location where short-term lets were not available, or available only at a premium, we'd be very unlikely to visit." (Guest & Host with one secondary let property)

90. A few respondents (and in particular a small minority of hosts, either with one or more than one property), cited examples of the benefits for local businesses (e.g. food shops, pubs, cafes, restaurants and launderettes), local economic benefits and for providing local employment. Examples were also cited about the benefits for local tourist attractions, such as museums, galleries, festivals, exhibitions and golf courses, and how short-term letting can reinvigorate local areas by bringing in new people and investment. Leith, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Kintyre and the East Neuk of Fife were among the areas cited in this respect.

91. The other main positive themes, primarily discussed by a few hosts and other non short-term let related businesses, suggested benefits for hosts and benefits in rural or less populous areas. Points on the latter mainly centred on the benefits of the traditional self-catering sector for bringing in visitors and short-term letting enabling an extra source of income for farms and crofts.

92. Finally, there were a few respondents who voiced a need for more or easily applied regulatory control and / or regulatory enforcement.



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