Exposed: Airbnb lobbying to stop laws on lets (The Ferret, 18 Jan 2019)

  • Exposed: Airbnb lobbying to stop laws on lets

  • By Ally Tibbitt. Published in the Ferret on 18 January 2019

  • Summary:

    • The online lodging firm claims to add almost £1.5 million a day to the Scottish economy. But critics say the rapid growth in short-term letting is exacerbating a housing crisis, causing rising levels of anti-social behaviour and enabling some landlords to evade tax.

    • As MSPs at Holyrood consider a new planning bill that could give councils more powers to regulate landlords using Airbnb, documents from the Scottish Government show the firm has had extensive contacts with senior government ministers and civil servants.

    • The Scottish Parliament’s lobbying register also shows that a public relations firm hired by Airbnb, Halogen, has met 28 times since March 2018 with MSPs [Members of the Scottish Parliament], ministers and special advisers to discuss the company’s policy positions or the wider short-term letting sector.

  • Keywords: Scotland, Scottish Parliament, MSPs, United Kingdom, UK, lobbying, Airbnb, Halogen, tourism, tourist apartments

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