The UK city cracking down on Airbnbs as terrified landlords ‘can’t sleep’

A UK city is cracking down on Airbnbs, infuriating homeowners who say they can’t sleep because of the changes.

The new legislation, brought in by the Scottish government, will require all holiday lets to be licenced and, in the case of an entire property, need to have planning permission to be used.

The laws, which come into force on October 1, have enraged short-term let owners and operators who gathered in the city of Edinburgh to rally against the new rules.

They claim the legislation will wipe out the sector and destroy businesses.

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Following the announcement of the new laws, there has been pressure from the tourism industry to rethink the scheme.

Last week, a cross-party group of 27 MSPs joined calls to urge First Minister Humza Yousaf to delay, an action he quickly ruled out reported EdinburghLive.

Outside the Scottish Parliament, protesters chanted “Save Scottish Jobs” and held placards which claimed destroying them would not fix the housing crisis.

Landlord Linda McDonald-Brown told EdinburghLive that she had not submitted licensing applications but would do so by the end of the month.

Ms McDonald-Brown said she expected a flurry of landlords to have applied at the end of the month.

She said: “I think the council are going to go ‘whoa’. They don’t have the resources and I think they want to backtrack but they can’t.

“Everything I own, my house and everything like that is totally built on my company.”

She added that the council were not giving licenses and claimed the real aim of the legislation was to “destroy the industry”.

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Ms McDonald Brown added: “”They are literally banning people – they just want us gone. I don’t think we ought to have planning in place, definitely not.

“They ought to just go for the licensing because many of us have been going for years so we don’t need planning for a change of use.”

Another landlord affected by the crisis, Sheila Averbuch, said the situation is starting to affect her family’s physical health.

She said: “I’m not sleeping, my husband is not sleeping. Unless they pause this legislation and talk to us we have to conclude that’s what they want – they want to wipe out this sector.”

In a statement, Scottish Housing Minister Paul McLellan said: “Over the last decade, the short-term sector has grown significantly and changed its nature which has brought economic benefits but also raised concerns about consistency of quality and the impact on local communities.

“Following public consultations and independent researchers, Parliament passed licensing legislation in January 2022.

“All existing properties will need to have their application in before the first of October to continue trading having had 20 months to apply.”

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