Dozens of Living Rent activists and supporters held a protest in Edinburgh this morning amid concerns the Airbnb boom is causing severe housing problems in the capital.
The demonstration, called by Living Rent and and supported by Andy Whightman MSP, picketed the Edinburgh City Chambers to raise concerns about the scarcity of housing caused by Airbnb.
Protesters were concerned that Airbnb bosses and Edinburgh Council chiefs were having a private meeting, without representation from any tenants or residents organisations.
Protesters called upon the council to ignore pleas from airbnb that they can 'self regulate', and instead enforce tough restrictions on holiday lets.
Andy Whightman said: “The availability and affordability of homes in Edinburgh is worsening by the month & short-term lets are exacerbating this. I was at the demonstration to stand in solidarity with those affected by a failing housing system in the City.”
Emma Saunders Chair of Living Rent said: “Tenants were not informed about this meeting, and are not represented, so we were forced to have a protest to ensure our views are considered.
“We are calling on the council to ignore pleas from Airbnb that they can ‘self regulate’, and we are instead demanding tough legislation to ensure this upward pressure on rents is stopped.
“The huge increase in Airbnb accommodation is leading to higher rents and a scarcity of housing for people who live and work in Edinburgh.”
Living Rent proposes that the council implements a 30 day per year restriction on renting out entire properties, for the purposes of Airbnb-style holiday lets, and the curtailing of third-party management schemes.