Hosts hope Edinburgh AirBnB hosts could miss out on ‘hundreds of pounds’ under new law

Edinburgh homeowners who plan to convert their humble abode into a money-making machine could run out of hundreds of pounds under a new law.

It was announced last week that Edinburgh City Council is cracking down on short-term rentals and is launching a consultation with residents on a suggested ‘control zone’.

The control zone would cover the entire city and would mean that Airbnb and other short-term rental owners must obtain a building permit to use the property for this reason.

READ MORE: Furious locals oppose Edinburgh apartment being used for Airbnb accommodation

But with Edinburgh attracting tourists all year round, especially with the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Christmas Market and Hogmanay, up-and-coming hosts could lose hundreds of pounds if they can’t get that building permit. . research revealed how Airbnb owners are raising their prices up to 300% based on local events and holidays, and that could now be under threat.

During the opening weekend of the iconic arts festival, Edinburgh Festival Fringe, nighttime prices for AirBnB soared 20% (19.58%).

And around Christmas, from December 24 to 27, average rental prices increase by 18% the previous weekend, with prices ranging from £ 148 to £ 174.

But while the latest news about future hosts may cause them to miss out on making any money, Edinburgh Live reported that Airbnb bosses have hit back at Edinburgh City Council’s proposals, saying they were “concerned about impact “but that would not affect the majority. hosts anyway.

Patrick Robinson, director of public policy at Airbnb, 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 the 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 working with Edinburgh City Council to achieve the best results for everyone. “

However, Councilor Neil Gardiner, responsible for planning, praised the Edinburgh City Council’s proposal, saying that “short-term rentals put pressure on house prices and rents and put houses on out of order while causing problems such as antisocial behavior “.

He said: ‘Edinburgh has almost a third of all short term rentals in Scotland, so we are delighted that the Scottish Government has responded to our call for greater control over them.

“The Scottish government is currently consulting on a new licensing regime and we can now ask them to make Edinburgh a short-term area of ​​control if that’s what the committee decides following the next public consultation.

“We welcome tourists to the city and fully appreciate all they add to Edinburgh’s economy.”

He added: “We are starting this consultation to ask if Edinburgh should be a short term rental control area, as we need more control over STLs.

“We need to ensure that visitors have the best possible experience during their stay while meeting the needs of our residents.

“It is important that we hear from people across the city and, as well as residents, we will encourage industry groups such as Airbnb and the Association of Scotland’s Self Caterers to provide their views during the consultation.

“We need to do this consultation, as short-term rentals put pressure on house prices and rents and suppress the supply of housing, while causing problems such as anti-social behavior and emptying communities in some areas. .

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“If the Scottish Government approves the whole town as an STL control area, we will be able to manage the number of STLs in the town, as leased properties in these areas would automatically require a ‘change in use’ building permit. “in place.

“It is also good news that the Scottish Government is proposing that when people apply for a permit we can ask for proof that they have that building permit.

“This is something we are very keen to do and our responses to the ‘Choices’ consultation for our next local development plan – ‘City Plan 2030’ – have shown overwhelming support for the Control Zones. “

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