MSP Alex Cole-Hamilton speaks out on Airbnb reviews in Edinburgh Garden

Alex Cole Hamilton opened up about his Airbnb connection after it emerged that the only candidate for leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats is earning up to £ 10,000 a year by renting a cabin in his back garden.

The small property, which sleeps three, costs £ 49 per night.

The MSP, which previously said tough action should be taken against Airbnbs’ party apartments, has been criticized for the short-term cabin rentals advertised on Airbnb.

Private Eye, which first reported the property for rent, said according to the Cole-Hamilton Declared Interests Register it makes between £ 5,001 and £ 10,000 a year from the property.

However, in an exclusive with Edinburgh Live today, the MSP for the Western Constituency of Edinburgh is committed to continuing to be a champion for the people of Edinburgh and Scotland in regulating the short-term rental giant. term.

But the future Lib Dem frontman said he had nothing to hide and was transparent from day one with anyone who questioned his relationship with the rental site.

He says he didn’t have to add his Airbnb connection to the registry but decided to do so in order to be open with his constituents and residents of Edinburgh.

Nonetheless, critics have always raised the question of whether he could earn the trust of his constituents when he had a stake in Airbnb’s success in Edinburgh.

In response, he said, “I didn’t have to name Airbnb on the registry, but I insisted on being absolutely honest. We rent out a part of the house that we do not use and that could not be used for anything else. We built it (the property) as we were renovating our house several years ago and it saved us from having to move during the renovations.

“Like many people in Edinburgh, as a family we use our excess space to supplement our income. It remains vacant whenever the family is not visiting during the holidays.

“It’s important to say that I don’t get money from Airbnb and basically pay them so I can advertise on their site. But that doesn’t make me any less eager to fully regulate their operations and limit property rentals while enforcing more stringent licensing criteria. I am not in favor of banning Airbnb from the capital, but rather of their further regulation.

“I have had several issues with disastrous short-term rentals that have swarmed entire apartment buildings and party apartments causing grief to the permanent residents of my constituency. Not to mention the problems with the city center digging which undermines Edinburgh’s character and is problematic with the lack of affordable housing already in the capital.

“I want to say that you need to know my connection to the company anytime someone brings up Airbnbs issues in town.

“There is no doubt that I will continue to hold Airbnb to account and demand new regulations. I urge voters and residents to judge me by my actions. “

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