Towards the end of the last session of Parliament I successfully campaigned for new laws to help residents affected by party lets.
Under the new regulations, the City of Edinburgh Council can issue antisocial behaviour notices to landlords renting their property out to groups such as stag and hen parties where disturbances are reported.
However, since the law was passed in March, there has been no enforcement action taken despite constituents continuing to experience horrendous problems so the focus of the campaign has shifted from demanding regulation to ensuring effective enforcement.
This week I organised a residents’ meeting so that people affected by party lets could get around the table, share experiences and hear about the implementation of the new regulations from the Council and the Police.
The meeting was designed to give residents a clearer idea of what is expected of them when reporting incidents and what action they can expect in return. The update was clearly needed as on-going experiences of party flats demonstrated.
One incident, described by a resident, involved him being wakened in the middle of night by someone vomiting into his garden from an upstairs window. The resident had to spend the next morning clearing up the mess after being disturbed by loud music throughout the night.
This sort of antisocial behaviour is completely inexcusable, placing residents in an intolerable position, and is precisely the sort of incident which should prompt action from the new regulations.
I am now pushing for the Council to produce guidance and make it available to the public so that people know what action they can take if they are affected by a party let. An important issue is that disruption caused by party flat lets is properly recorded and reported to both the council and the police. However, it also makes sense that the Council engage with landlords to encourage them to be more responsible for the impact of these party lets by being proactive in ensuring that the groups they let their property to are more respectful of neighbouring properties.