Council underlines commitment to short term lets legislation

With one month to go until Scotland’s short term lets licence deadline, the Council has reaffirmed its commitment to the scheme and the 1 October start date.

At the Council meeting on 31 August, councillors agreed the following emergency motion:

Emergency Motion – Short Term Lets

  1. Notes the deadline of 1 October 2023 for existing landlords to apply for a license for a short term let (STL). 
  2. Notes the unanimous decision of all members of the Regulatory Committee on 6 February 2023 to “regret” the Scottish Government’s decision to delay the start date for STL licensing for existing landlords from 1 April to 1 October 2023. 
  3. Believes that a proper system of licensing is important to help address the significant issues within the short-term rental market which is why there was such strong cross-party agreement for a robust system of regulation. 
  4. Therefore, regrets the comments made by the Council Leader on BBC Radio Scotland on 23 August 2023, which might have led operators to assume or believe that the Council Leader, and by extension the Council, was open to a further extension to the 1 October 2023 start date when no such position has been taken, either by the Regulatory Committee or full Council. 
  5. Believes these comments, despite further clarifications, were damaging to the ongoing hard work of officers to encourage landlords to meet the 1 October 2023 start date by suggesting a dilution of this Council’s commitment to the proper and fair regulation of the short term let market in Edinburgh. 

  Therefore, Council 

  1. Reaffirms its existing commitment to the licensing of short term lets, expresses its opposition to any further extension to the start date for licensing of existing short term let landlords and requests that this position be communicated strongly through the Council's communications channels. 
  2. Agrees that the Council Leader will write to Scottish Ministers to convey that opposition and further welcomes recent comments from the First Minister and the Economy Minister that there will be no further extension to the 1 October start date.
  3. Calls on all existing STL operators to ensure they submit a licensing application ahead of the 1 October 2023 start date.
  4. Agrees the outstanding briefing, outlining the state of readiness of the Council to process applications by 1 October 2023, will be circulated to Councillors before the Finance and Resources Committee meeting of 21 September 2023 to align with budget considerations. In addition, a draft copy of the STL Enforcement report due to be presented to the 2 October Regulatory Committee should be circulated on a confidential basis to all councillors also before 21 September Finance & Resources Committee meeting.

Moved by: Councillor Neil Ross
Seconded by: Councillor Susan Rae

Visit the Scottish Government's website for further information on the scheme

Published: September 1st 2023