Landlords with short-term let accommodation face a difficult choice as booking dry up and the sales and long-term lettings market stay frozen. So why not help out local councils?

Airbnb landlords in Edinburgh who have seen business slump are doing their bit by offering vacant properties to homeless families affected by the crisis.

It follows an urgent call by councils around the country to second homeowners, hoteliers, B&Bs, Airbnb owners and student housing providers to come forward with offers of help so homeless people and rough sleepers can self-isolate.

Thanks to them, 65 flats – as well as 120 hotel rooms in Edinburgh – have been taken over to house homeless families with children who were stuck in unsuitable bed and breakfasts.

Council leader Adam McVey says: “We’ve worked hard to find safe places to stay for everyone who is or becomes homeless during this pandemic.

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“We’ve successfully moved the families we care for into suitable flats – including properties sourced from the private sector. We’re also determined that this will remain the case for as long as the coronavirus crisis continues.”

The council tells LandlordZONE that it currently has enough homes to meet demand, but that its Additional Accommodation Needs Team is still focused on finding options.

“It’s a mixture of us sourcing the right places for people to stay and offers coming in which we sift through,” says a spokeswoman. “We negotiate on a case-by-case basis with each landlord on this, but we will pay.”

Meanwhile, Airbnb hosts are offering NHS and other frontline medical staff free places to stay while they carry out their critical work, with Airbnb waiving all fees for the stays. So far nearly 1,500 places have been offered by UK hosts.

If any Edinburgh landlords are interested in helping, contact


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