doug: (Default)
From: [personal profile] doug
This is a creation of astonishing wonder.

I mean, since we know Game of Life can work as a universal Turing machine, we know that theoretically it must be possible to simulate Tetris in it. But there's nothing that says that (a) it has to look like one to human eyes, and (b) humans could actually make one like that. Except a bunch of folk having done it. Wow.

Date: 2017-09-18 04:07 pm (UTC)
danieldwilliam: (Default)
From: [personal profile] danieldwilliam
That's Edinburgh Council plans to ask the Scottish Parliament if they wouldn't mind doing something.

I'm not saying this is doomed but I'm not sure the proposed licencing scheme for AirBnB will work as well as Edinburgh Council hope

I'm not sure that adding an administrative burden and a fee to AirB&B properties is going to have that much of an impact on the mischief that people are worried about which is one or both of a) properties being taken out of the short-term domestic letting market or b) rowdy holiday makers. I don't get the impression that Edinburgh has a problem with innocent holiday makers being injured by sub-standard flats.

Rowdy holiday makers are randomly distributed I think. If you have a holiday letting property, either let for fewer than 90 days or more than 90 days there is still a chance that your neighbours will be inconvenienced by rowdy holiday makers. I suppose this may be increased if you are not a careful vettor of your guests and I suppose if you are persistently a poor vettor of your guests the council might pull your licence. This will restrict you to inflicting misery on your neighbours to a randomly distributed 90 days a year or three weekends of the year. It will also incentivise you to let more aggressively i.e. do less vetting to make sure you are maximising your price.

Also, having recently experienced Ediburgh's street trading licencing operation I'm not yet convinced that they have the resources or the will power to do something about rowdy holiday makers if that involves enforcing licence conditions.

If the property is being profitably let out for more than 90 days it will be worth shouldering the administrative burden and any fees and taxes (except for a few marginal cases). This measure is, I think, unlikely to shift many properties back from being holiday lets to being domestic rentals or being sold.

In Edinburgh, particularly my part of it, the model of renting your flat to students from October to June and then letting through AirBnB (etc) for the 90 days of July, August and September is well established

Zoning them as commercial is as likely to backfire as not. If it's profitable in the long term to let your property in central Edinburgh as an AirBnB then you take the hit and have it rezoned. If it's not profitable then you sell the property to someone who can make money with a commerical zoned property - thus permentantly removing the property from the housing stock.

The interaction with Furnished Holiday Lets (which have a different set of rules for tax purposes) will be interesting to watch. Why 90 days, when the tax rules for Furnished Holiday Lets kick in at 105 days?

Are Edinburgh Council planning on just targeting AirBnB or are they also after any holiday letting website?

I wonder if the Scottish Parliament has suitable devolved powers given that some of this bumps up against tax rules.

It smacks of being a fundraiser, which is fine so far as it goes, or being the creature of the hotel industry who are keen to restrict competition.

Re: AirBnB

Date: 2017-09-20 11:07 am (UTC)
danieldwilliam: (Default)
From: [personal profile] danieldwilliam
I'm not in principle against people turning their flats in to businesses. They own them and there are willing sellers and willing buyers and I think the state and community that the state represents need to be cautious about intervening in ownership and markets.

I'm definately against rowdy holiday makers disturbing your peace and quiet and making your life unpleasant.

I'm definately in favour of regulating markets in order to manage externalities either by forbidding them or by gathering funds to pay compensation.

Having a licence which the council can revoke or threaten to revoke might improve the behaviour of landlords and therefore reduce the suffering inflicted on you through the externalities of the market. Honestly, I'm not optimisitic about Edinburgh Council's ability to resource licence compliance. HMO licence requirements aren't going to address the noise issue and that's going to the be the starting point for the regulations in terms of physical set up. (Specifically, I don't think any new regulations are going to require additional soundproofing in the between-flat voids.)

90 days still seems daft to me as the Furnished Holiday Letting tax rules kick in a 105 days. If you are going to be letting your flat for about 90 days you will probably want to push on to the 105 actual letting days and the 210 potential letting days or you are a student winter let / AirBnB summer let. I don't think it changes any behaviour.

I'd expect it to cover other holiday lets. How would you tell them apart? Not all towns are Edinburgh and there are many towns where tourist income is useful and dependent on holiday letting businesses.

I still think the proposals are unlikely to change behaviour much. The weak link is the council enforcement arm.

Re: AirBnB

Date: 2017-09-25 08:28 am (UTC)
danieldwilliam: (Default)
From: [personal profile] danieldwilliam
If you are subject to business rates when running a single Furnished Holiday Let property you are likely to qualify for Small Business Rates Relief and therefore pay less.

(Although that position seems to be changing).

I'm sure there is all sorts of tax avoidance going on.
From: [personal profile] anna_wing
Based on my own experience of different countries, it is not a women thing. It is a subordinate population thing. The closer a society or subsection of a society is to substantive equality between men and women, the less you see it. It can be observed quite easily in countries like the UK and India, where class divisions are out in the open rather than denied. High-status women are not noticeably more empathetic than high-status men in relation to people of either sex whom they perceive to be of lower status. They are on the other hand noticeably more so in relation to high-status men.
agoodwinsmith: (Default)
From: [personal profile] agoodwinsmith
This is the thing that makes sense.

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