Homes First

Help me collect data on short-term lets

In 2020 I launched a crowdsourcing tool to discover the location of every commercial short-term let in Edinburgh. One of the problems with regulating short-term lets is that we don’t know where they are. This makes it difficult to regulate and to clamp down on illegal operations. Use this survey to tell us if a commercial short-term let is operating in your stair or community.

We are only interested in short-term lets that are no longer anybody’s home – not in people letting out a room (homesharing).

You can use this survey to let us know about a commercial short-term let in your stair or neighbourhood.

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About Homes First

The growth in short-term lets is out of control in Edinburgh and of increasing concern across Scotland. The conversion of much-needed homes into commercial lets is happening with virtually no oversight and is causing significant distress to residents. Homes First is a campaign to resist the commercial forces that are being unleashed by the expansion of short term letting, to uphold the value of the homes and communities we live in, and to demand reform in housing and planning law so that homes come first. 

The Homes First survey is a tool for people across Scotland to report short-term lets operating in their communities. We will use this data to build a better understanding of short-term let hotspots and the impact on the people around them. 

What is a short-term let? A short-term let is any whole flat or house that is no longer anyone’s permanent home. We are not concerned about home sharing or the traditional self-catering industry. 

What is Homes First? Homes First is a campaign to resist commercial forces putting profit before people’s homes. 

What will you do with the data collected through this survey? We will plot the locations of short-term lets on an interactive map, available on this website. We will also use the data to better understand the scale of the problem, helping central and local government tackle the issue.