Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Holiday flats regulation call over 'noisy sex parties'

Edinburgh

Calls to regulate short-term flat lets in Edinburgh have been made after residents complained about problems including "very audible sex parties".

Lothian Green MSP Andy Wightman raised the issue at Holyrood.

He made the call after being contacted by disgruntled constituents.

Minister for Local Government and Housing, Kevin Stewart, said he sympathised but the planning system could not "readily distinguish" between different types of housing tenure.

'Stress and anxiety'

Mr Wightman said: "Over the past few weeks, I have been speaking to constituents who live in the Old Town and the Grassmarket in Edinburgh.

"It is clear that there is a substantial problem with unregulated growth in short-term holiday lets.

"Very audible sex parties have taken place in the flat above one constituent, and an elderly couple are now living out the rest of their years lonely in a tenement stair that has lost all its other permanent residents.

"Others with young families live in a state of stress and anxiety due to the rent-seeking behaviour of a growing number of property owners."

Mr Stewart said: "The Scottish government has no plans to regulate the growth in short-term letting.

"However, we recognise that some concerns exist and we welcome the opportunity to engage further with stakeholders on the matter."

He added: "I sympathise with the people in the stories that Andy Wightman gave us, but the planning system cannot always readily distinguish between different types of housing tenure."

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