The City of Edinburgh Council Planning Department Actively Shutting Down Holiday Lets

We have first hand experience that the Planning Department at The City of Edinburgh Council is sourcing holiday lets to shut them down. This comes a couple of months after the Scottish Government published a report on their significance to the local economy, as well as the introduction of regulation to monitor the market.

Speaking directly to the Planning Officers, they confirmed that properties currently operating in shared stairwells would be shut down due to the potential disturbance to residents in neighbouring properties.

At the moment, there is currently very little legislation regarding holiday lets. The main issue being that to some departments they are deemed as commercial and others they are residential properties.

The planning department is encouraging operators of holiday lets to apply for a change of use for the property to become commercial, however these applications are not being granted. Hence, the somewhat lack of enthusiasm for holiday let operators to apply for the change of use in the first place.

There is currently no legal requirement for the operators to do so, although the main feeling in the market is that some sort of registration and regulation would be welcomed for a number of reasons;

  • To ensure the safety of guests and residents, similar to the health and safety requirements in long term properties

  • To ensure the market is not flooded by holiday lets,

  • A means for unhappy residents to communicate with operators and have a complaints procedure in place to the overseeing body to mediate or take further action against any problem properties.

This situation somewhat mirrors the issues that HMO properties had when they initially started being introduced.

It would be optimistic to think that the council could meet with businesses in the holiday let market to discuss and implement a strategy to ensure that there is a healthy holiday let market in place alongside residents who can be assured that any problems would be positively dealt with.

Rather than a generalization that the majority of holiday lets pose as a disturbance to neighbouring properties, which in our own experience is not the case at all.

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