This week’s Top 3
Support grows for Tourist Tax in Edinburgh
Support is growing in Edinburgh for the introduction of a tourist tax, with Airbnb and Virgin Hotels both happy to operate the levy. Edinburgh Council leader, Adam McVey, said: “We have had significant engagement with the industry on the detail about how it would be levied. I’m finding quote a lot of support within the industry based in Edinburgh for it”.
Cllr McVey believes the tourist tax is a matter of fairness, and states that it is only fair that tourists should contribute to city maintenance, cultural investments and marketing the city.
Speaking about the possible tax, Airbnb already have agreements with more than 400 governments and local authorities around the world to collect and remit tourist tax and do not see it as being an issue. Sir Richard Branson initially showed scepticism about the tax, suggesting it would just drive tourists to Glasgow instead. However, in an official statement released by the Virgin Hotels chief executive, they are well used to local tax arrangements and they see no such difficulties in operating in such an environment.
Concerns over possible mandatory three-year tenancies in England
There has been a great deal of speculation that the government are intent on introducing a mandatory three-year residential tenancy in England, despite the fact that there is an ongoing consultation process regarding the change.
There are inevitable fears amongst landlords that this change would be detrimental to the private rental sector. Some landlord groups have said to support the longer tenancies in principal, but it must be on a voluntary basis.
The Residential Landlords Association comments that: “Any measures to encourage longer tenancies need to go hand in hand with reforms to improve and speed up the ability of landlords to regain possession of a property where a tenant is, for example, failing to pay their rent or committing anti-social behaviour. This includes the Government progressing with plans for a new housing court.”
GSPC go into liquidation
The Glasgow Solicitors Property Centre (GSPC) has been placed into liquidation, with nine people being made redundant. This demonstrates how the method for advertising property has moved on significantly over the last 20 years.
Many of the company’s assets have been taken over by the Edinburgh Solicitors Property Centre (ESPC), who also reportedly provided a loan to GSPC two years ago, in an attempt to bail them out of financial problems. The GSPC website has now been shut down and now links to the ESPC online portal, where its properties can now be found.
A spokeswoman for ESPC said: "As a fellow solicitor property portal we gave our support over the past two years and are disappointed that it did not have the outcome we all hoped for.
"We will continue to aim for continuity of service for Glasgow’s property buyers and sellers.”