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Report says landlords abuse holiday let contracts to evade tenants’ rights

According to a new report, landlords and agents in Scotland are exploiting Airbnb-style holiday let contracts to avoid long-term tenancies and evade their responsibilities to tenants.

The report from Living Rent highlights three cases which said housing legislation and tenants’ rights were being undermined by the loophole.

The Scottish tenants’ union identified the case of an Edinburgh landlord who was struck-off from the landlord register but had since taken advantage of the fact holiday let landlords don’t need to be registered to continue letting properties.

Holiday let leases give tenants almost none of the protections they would be guaranteed under Short-Assured Tenancies or Scottish Private Residential Tenancies, the union pointed out but tenants’ rights apply if it can be shown that the property is being used as a home, rather than for short term holiday purposes.

David Alexander, joint managing director of Apropos by DJ Alexander, said: “Many landlords and agents see holiday lets as a means of letting properties whilst ignoring the recent legislative changes in Scotland on the rights of the tenant. However, this is incorrect as tenants’ rights apply if it can be shown that the property is being used as a home, rather than for short term holiday purposes. Even if no contract is signed, the tenancy automatically defaults to a Private Residential Tenancy Agreement if both parties have knowingly entered into a long term, residential arrangement.”

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