Landlords are quitting Airbnb in droves as reality bites

26/09/2019 08:48:26

An increasing number of landlords are abandoning Airbnb-style short lets in favour of traditional residential tenancies, according to new evidence.

The imminence of tougher regulation has prompted letters in Glasgow and other cities to move away from short, holiday lets which have been blamed for a lack of affordable housing.

Estate agents representing both sectors now report that a growing number of property owners in Glasgow and Edinburgh are looking for permanent tenants instead.

The Scottish Parliament is consulting on whether it should regulate short-term lets amid calls for clearly defined rules.

Gregor Cope, director of Scottish Property Centre Shawlands, said fewer landlords are opting for Airbnb in the face of a market backlash.

“Short-term letting seemed like a more profitable option for some but, actually, it is both problematic and unpopular with tenants and neighbours,” he said.

“Some buy-to-let landlords didn’t realise that, to rent their property as a short term let, they were required to apply for a change-of-use licence.

“For those with flats or houses in populous, residential areas, the chances are they will be refused because neighbours are likely to object.

“The reality is that short term lets are nothing like as profitable as some landlords believed and, as regulation starts to bite, they will become even less popular.”

Last month it was reported that as much as a third of housing stock was being lost to holiday lets in some parts of Edinburgh.

Renters described how landlords had evicted them to turn their homes into lucrative Airbnb rentals, or hiked up rents to keep up with the high yields promised by the short-term market.

While Glasgow has not experienced the same level of short term lets, local authorities in both cities are increasingly using their powers to control the market.

It follows a series of complaints from neighbours that properties were being used as party flats and houses.

Mr Cope said: “People who live, particularly in flats, object when neighbouring properties lie vacant during the week and then, at weekends, are occupied by large groups of noisy young people, often on stag and hen weekends.”

He added: “Recently we’ve seen a movement away from the short-term rental market and towards long-term, residential tenants. It appears short-term landlords are increasingly frustrated by the challenges of operating in such an overcrowded market.”

For more information on how to let your property, contact your local Scottish Property Centre branch or visit


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