Finnie demands action over AirBnB on Skye

07 May 2011 MSP pictured in the garden lobby during the MSP registration session. Pic - Andrew Cowan/Scottish Parliament

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At First Minister’s Questions in the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh last week, Highlands and Islands MSP John Finnie asked the First Minister to take action on the number of properties used for short-term lets on Skye.

In response to consultation on short-term lets, Highland Council recently reported more than 8,000 people currently in need of housing.

The Scottish Government’s own research shows 20,000 homes on Skye are used for short-term lets.

It had previously committed to release its response to the consultation on short-term lets by the end of the year.

But with only nine sitting days left before the Christmas recess, the First Minister was unable to give a firm date of publication or specific details as to what regulations are being considered.

Following First Minister’s Questions, Mr Finnie said: ‘Companies like AirBnB, and the short-term letting industry more broadly, are in urgent need of regulation.

‘No one is suggesting tourists should not be able to come and enjoy the beauty of Skye, as they have for many years, but we must not lose sight of the fact that this is a living, breathing community.

‘It cannot be allowed to become a theme park, while people struggle to survive without a permanent home. Other countries across the world are already taking action to tackle unregulated short-term letting and the Scottish Government needs to catch up with them quickly.’