Airbnb’s new checks condemned by trade body…

The UK Short Term Accommodation Association says the Scottish Government’s support for a bid to control short-term rentals in Edinburgh could damage the city’s business and tourism reputation.

Edinburgh City Council has ‘requested that the whole of the city be covered by a short-term Control Zone, which will come into effect next week’.

This will require scheduling consent to be obtained by hosts renting through Airbnb or other short-term rental platforms.

Earlier this year, the STAA said any Control Zones left at short notice should be backed by strong evidence and that the Scottish Government should require local authorities to provide a high standard of proof before granting Control Zone applications. .

But now the association accuses the Scottish government of simply dropping Edinburgh’s request without proving any robust process to consider whether a control zone is warranted.

The STAA is also concerned about what it claims is the lack of transparency surrounding the Scottish Government’s decision. He says the process could lead to unnecessary endorsement of applications from other councils, as no strong evidence has been presented.

The association has urged the Scottish Government to publish its decision-making process and the parameters that will be used to determine whether Control Zones will be accepted in the future.

Shomik Panda, Managing Director of STAA, said: “This is a worrying decision. Not only do we disagree with this decision, but we are also concerned that it was made without explanation or evidence presented.

“We sincerely believe this will have a negative impact on Edinburgh’s tourist economy and if rolled out to other parts of Scotland it will further damage a valuable revenue stream as tourists will not will not have a large enough choice of accommodation and will end up going elsewhere. .

“In the current economic climate, where many accommodation operators are still recovering from the impact of COVID restrictions and with the impending cost of living crisis looming, the timing couldn’t be worse.

“We urge the Scottish Government to rethink its approach… [and] also to impose certain parameters on the additional licensing conditions that Scottish local authorities can impose in order to avoid massive fragmentation across the country. We are now in a situation where Edinburgh Council is imposing draconian additional requirements on license applicants, even after essentially banning secondary tenancy in Edinburgh.

“We would like to think that the devolved administrations of England and Wales will learn from Scotland’s mistakes and work with industry to devise a workable set of regulations that meet the challenges without destroying the economic benefits brought by long-term rentals. short term.”

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