Lothian Green MSP Andy Wightman has published a research paper on residents’ rights in relation to the keyboxes Airbnnb and other short-term let hosts install outside properties so visitors can let themselves in.

He says they are another example of the ‘unlawfulness’ of Airbnb and other commercial short-term lets, which he says fragment neighbourhoods, cause distress to residents and add to the housing crisis, since many don’t have planning consent or permission in their title conditions, mortgage providers often don’t consent, and properties don’t have fire, gas and safety checks.

Airbnb argues that lock boxes can be used for health care, social care, tradesmen or relatives. Last summer, Airbnb claimed short-term rentals were now worth almost £240 million to Edinburgh, and that hosts earned an average of £4300 a year from renting over 10,000 different properties to visitors.

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