Airbnb-style short-term lets: how to help make the changes Edinburgh needs – Angus Robertson

The Scottish Government is proposing a new licensing scheme and wants to hear what the public has to say, writes Angus Robertson.

By Angus Robertson
Tuesday, 15th September 2020, 7:30 am
Key safes are a common sight in Edinburgh city centre
Key safes are a common sight in Edinburgh city centre

The issue of Airbnb-type lets is a big one in Edinburgh, so it’s good to see that the Scottish Government is making progress with the introduction of new regulations.

SNP ministers are proposing a mandatory licensing scheme to regulate the sector, including making sure that all short-term lets are safe and also addresses issues faced by neighbours. Yesterday a consultation was launched for the public to have their say. If the Scottish Parliament passes the regulations they will come into force by April 2021 and will also give councils the powers to manage pressures which have been created by the use of whole properties as short-term lets.

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Rogue Airbnb operators could be fined up to £50,000 as part of a new regulation ...

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Edinburgh has an extremely high number of short-term let properties, with more than 7,000 on offer. However, only one in 500 properties has proper planning permission and the situation has distorted the rental market for too many people. This cannot go on.

Scottish Housing Minister Kevin Stewart has called for the public to take part in the consultation on the changes which began yesterday and will run until October 16.

Meanwhile Edinburgh Council leader Adam McVey has appealed for support to ensure that the Capital secures the power to control short-term lets. SNP MSPs, MPs and councillors have strongly backed the introduction of the new regulations.

With members of the public and campaigning organisations taking part in the consultation, we can help secure the changes we need for Edinburgh and the rest of the country.

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