Edinburgh to become first UK city to force Airbnb owners to seek council approval

Edinburgh to become first UK city to force Airbnb owners to seek permission from city council to rent their homes in a bid to tackle anti-social behavior and housing shortage

  • Councilors have adopted plans for landlords to ask City Hall before renting
  • The move infuriated the owners as they claimed they were acting as scapegoats
  • But activists backed him up after claiming the city center had been “emptied”










Edinburgh will become the first UK city to ask Airbnb hosts to apply for a building permit in an attempt to quell anti-social behavior and housing shortages.

Councilors in the Scottish capital adopted plans yesterday, which means landlords will have to apply to town hall before putting houses on short-term rental.

The move infuriated the landlords as they claimed they were acting as scapegoats for the government’s poor housing policy.

But activists backed him after he said the city center had been “gutted” by properties meant for short-term rental.

Councilors in the Scottish capital (file photo) adopted plans yesterday, which means landlords will have to apply to town hall before putting houses on short-term rental

Edinburgh is home to around a third of Airbnbs in Scotland and locals fear they have kicked Scots out and raised prices.

The city’s planning director, David Givan, has called for the policy to cover the whole thing in order to stop losing short-term rentals in certain areas.

Vice-chair of the board’s planning committee, Maureen Child, said: “It’s great to see so much progress being made in addressing this issue that we have campaigned so hard for.

“This is so important that short-term rentals have reduced the city’s housing stock, emptied communities and caused many problems for residents, such as noise and other anti-social behavior.

“I can’t wait to see these new powers used to improve the lives of many of our residents across town. “

Landlords should ask city council for a “change in use” to keep their short-term rentals.

The only exempt homeowners are those who have been managing their properties for over a decade, and this only applies to full homes – rather than spare bedrooms.

Edinburgh council will need to get government approval following consultation before plans can be put in place.

The Association of Scotland’s Self-Caterers called the changes “grossly disproportionate” and lacking in evidence.

Chief Executive Officer Fiona Campbell told the Telegraph: “Independent properties have a long standing in the capital for decades, improving the tourist offer and stimulating the local economy, and should not be used as a practical scapegoat for political failures elsewhere.”

Fiona Campbell (pictured) of the Association of Scotland's Self-Caterers (pictured) called the changes

Fiona Campbell (photo) of the Association of Scotland’s Self-Caterers (photo) called the changes “grossly disproportionate” and lacking in evidence

She added: “Communities are being fooled into believing that regulation of short-term rentals will act as a panacea when in reality we have failed to build enough affordable housing or get a large one back into service. number of empty properties.

“Last year stand-alone catering generated £ 50million for Edinburgh’s economy. For a city renowned for its hospitality, it is very disappointing that local policymakers are looking to address the multi-faceted housing problems in Edinburgh by focusing on tourist accommodation and damaging small businesses in the process. ‘

Tourists often use Airbnbs in the city due to popular annual events such as the Fringe and Hogmanay festival.

But in 2017, the PSM learned that the old town was subjected to “very audible sex parties” from a rented apartment.

Other apartments were said to have been transformed into “party apartments” which attracted deer and chickens.

Airbnb Director of Public Policy Patrick Robinson said: “We don’t expect this proposal to affect the majority of hosts, who typically rent their own homes part-time for less than 60 nights a year, with around half saying the extra income is an economic lifeline.

“We are concerned about the impact these measures may have on some hosts who bring great benefits to Scotland, and we look forward to engaging with Edinburgh City Council to achieve the best results for everyone. “

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