Edinburgh to become first short term let control area in Scotland

Short term lets

Following the City of Edinburgh Council’s campaign for change, the Scottish Government has agreed that the Capital can become the first short term let control area in Scotland. 

The Scottish Government made the announcement today (Monday 1 August).Once the Council gives the necessary legal notice the short term let control area will be brought into force in September 2022.

This means the change of use of an entire dwelling, that is not someone’s principal home, to a short-term let will require planning permission.   It does not apply to home sharing or home letting.

Council Leader Cammy Day said:

This is the news we have been waiting for after years of leading the way in campaigning for change. I am delighted that Ministers have now, finally, answered our calls. 

It paves the way for Edinburgh becoming the first short-term let control area in Scotland. For far too long, too many homes have been lost in our city to the holiday market. In fact, around a third of all short term lets in Scotland are here in the Capital, so their associated issues of safety, anti-social behaviour and noise have a detrimental effect on many of our residents.

Plus, we have unique housing pressures in Edinburgh, with a small but densely populated city centre and a fast growing population. Combined with the surge in visitors we receive for the Festivals, this has always resulted in high demand for accommodation in the month of August. This change to policy and will help us to control the number of properties being unsuitably used in this way and help us to better balance housing supply for local people all year round, without stopping people from renting out rooms to performers during the festivals.

We will now progress implementing the changes and the next step should be looking at whether we can apply a cap on numbers, too.

Published: August 1st 2022