UPS Provident Assurant

‘The property market is disgraceful’: why bosses are renting homes to staff

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Kevin McGhee doesn’t want to become a residential landlord but the publican feels he has been left with no choice. With his staff often struggling to find accommodation, the owner of three pubs in Edinburgh is hunting for a two-bedroom flat to buy to accommodate his employees.McGhee, 42, whose pubs include the Athletic Arms, says the housing crisis has been fuelled by the increasing number of short-term lets in the city.“Properties that first-time buyers would have bought are being snapped up by Airbnb investors,” he says. “My staff used to pay £800 for a flat and £500 to rent a room in a shared house – now flats are being put on Airbnb for up to £2,300 a month.

Traditional landlords and first-time buyers aren’t able to compete as they’re getting outbid.”With a lack of properties to rent, and those that are available set at rates that are out of the reach of most people, especially those working in the hospitality industry, McGhee’s staff are struggling to find anywhere to live.“It’s tough,” says McGhee, who has 22 employees. “One of our staff had to travel by bus for one hour to get to work after his landlord gave him notice.

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