Edinburgh Airbnbs could be banned from apartments in control zone plans

THE WHOLE OF Edinburgh could become a control zone for short-term rentals – paving the way for the potential banning of Airbnb properties in apartment buildings if deemed unsuitable by planning rules.

Scottish Government regulations agreed ahead of the Holyrood elections gave councils the opportunity to put forward plans to become an area of ​​control.

The plans were endorsed by MSPs despite fears expressed that SNP ministers could essentially veto any plan drawn up by local authorities.

Edinburgh City Council has presented draft plans for all residential properties in the city, which are not a landlord’s main home, which are used as short-term rentals, would need a change permit use to operate.

Currently, very few short-term rental properties apply for planning permission in Edinburgh. Those who do are often thrown off shared stairs, meaning planning laws could be used to essentially prohibit apartments from operating as Airbnb-style short-term rentals.

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But houses that have been changed to secondary rental by planning laws and have been used as short-term rental for more than 10 years before the deployment of the control zone, and which have not been subject to no enforcement action, will be allowed to continue without planning. permission.

For most people, renting a room in your house or renting out your property while on vacation would also be allowed if Edinburgh became a short-term rental control area.

The council is launching a consultation on its plans and will need the approval of SNP ministers.

About a third of short-term rental properties in Scotland are in Edinburgh. Currently, in addition to planning applications being made for short term rentals, in order to establish whether or not planning permission is required for properties where this is disputed, the council’s enforcement team is reviewing each case individually, which is a very long and time-consuming process. .

Council planning manager Neil Gardiner said: “Last year we welcomed the success of our call for new legislation from the Scottish Government to control short-term rentals. “If the proposals are approved by the planning committee, we will be in a position where we can go ahead and ask our residents, industry and other interested groups their opinion on the possibility of making of the whole of Edinburgh a short-term check.

“We will carefully consider this feedback before the proposal is finalized, as the impact of short-term rentals can be felt in Edinburgh communities.”

He added: “If the Scottish Government approves the whole town as a control area for short-term rentals, we will be able to manage the number of short-term rentals in the town, as properties let in these areas would require automatically require a “change of use” planning permit. “Combined with the proposed licensing scheme due to be introduced next year, if approved, this step forward is a direct response to our hard work to secure the powers we know we need to provide to our communities at city-wide.”

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