Airbnb claims 800 Fife jobs at risk in new crackdown on holiday let market

Pic Lisa FergusonPic Lisa Ferguson
Pic Lisa Ferguson
Plans to regulate short-term lets could put over 800 jobs in Fife at risk, according to new analysis commissioned by Airbnb.

The American based online holiday rental company wants the Scottish Government to pause its plans for regulation of the market until the full impact of COVID is assessed.

Its survey said spending by Airbnb guests and hosts supported 868 jobs, which could be at risk if some homes were unable to operate if proposed regulations come into force.

The company said the total spend in Fife was £17.9m.

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AirBnB lets have sparked huge controversy in cities such as Edinburgh where many flats have been turned into short term holiday lets.

It says Scottish Government proposals would mean the average Scottish family would need to pay over £700 to meet the legal and technical requirements of sharing a spare room in their home. If they required planning permission that could rise to £4000.

They would also face a fee for a licence, and potentially bear the cost of Government mandated renovations such as replacing wooden floors with carpet or vinyl flooring.

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Patrick Robinson, director of public policy at Airbnb, said: “These proposals will put jobs across Fife at risk, price local families out of hosting and shift tourism pounds away from the area.

“It can’t be right that hosts need to rip up their floors and hire consultants before they can welcome a guest into their home for the night.

“We want to find a balanced approach to regulate short-term lets while protecting livelihoods and ensuring we prioritise the needs of local families.”

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