Edinburgh’s Short-Term Lets Control Area is approved

todayAugust 1, 2022 8

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Edinburgh is to become Scotland’s first designated Short-Term Lets Control Area after the Scottish Government approved the City of Edinburgh Council’s proposed change to planning requirements.

The new control area is hoped will preserve the character of neighbourhoods, prevent short-term lets in inappropriate places or types of building, and help ensure homes are used to their best effect.

With a few exceptions, changing the use of an entire residential home in the city to short-term letting will automatically require planning permission.

The rise of online services like Airbnb has caused a spike in the number of Capital properties being let to tourists on a short-term basis. A third of all short-term lets in Scotland can be found in Edinburgh – prompting the city council to announce plans to limit numbers.

Housing secretary Shona Robison said: “Edinburgh was the first local authority in Scotland to propose a short-term let control area and Scottish Government approval represents a major step forward.”

New owners of short-term lets across Scotland will be required to apply to the local council for a licence to operate, while existing owners will have until April 2023.

“We have committed to give local authorities the powers to address concerns about the impact of commercial short-term letting in their communities, should they want to do that,” Robison added. “This is an example of that local choice in action – supported by the majority of respondents to the council’s consultation on the proposed designation.

“I recognise the important role which short-term lets play as a source of flexible and responsive accommodation for tourists and workers, which brings many benefits to hosts, visitors and our economy. However, we know that in certain areas, particularly tourist hot spots, high numbers of lets can cause problems for neighbours and make it harder for people to find homes to live in.”

The control area will be the first in Scotland and will cover the city in its entirety.

Written by: Jill McLaren

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