Edinburgh is a vibrant city that attracts millions of tourists each year, making it a desirable location for short-term lets. If you're considering becoming an Airbnb host in Edinburgh, it's essential to understand the regulations and licensing requirements set by the City of Edinburgh Council.
As of 1 October 2022, new hosts are required to apply for a short-term let license before accepting bookings or receiving guests. Existing hosts have been granted a one-off, six-month extension until 1 October 2023 to apply for a license. This extension recognizes the wider cost of living crisis that affects many short-term let hosts and businesses. Failure to comply with the regulations can result in fines of up to £2,500, and the council may take further legal action if the property is not brought into compliance within six months. Let's delve into the specific regulations for short-term lets in Edinburgh to ensure you're well-informed and prepared to operate within the legal framework.
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Why should you choose Edinburgh for short-term letting?
Edinburgh is a popular tourist destination, with over 2.2 million people visiting the Scottish capital yearly.
It's also the third most popular destination in the UK for Airbnb hosts, behind London and Manchester. The city has hosted several major sporting events since its inception as an urban settlement in around 1000 AD--including two Commonwealth Games (1986 and 2014). FIFA selected it as one of six candidate cities to host Euro 2020 matches before losing out to London.
In addition to its history as an important trade centre between England and Scotland during medieval times (when it was known as 'Auld Reekie'), Edinburgh Airport recently announced plans to expand its terminal building so that it can accommodate increased passenger numbers resulting from expansion at nearby Glasgow Airport which opened earlier this year following six years' construction work costing £1bn ($1.2bn).
Airbnb statistics show that Edinburgh is the third most popular destination for UK hosts after London and Manchester.
The city has over 2.2 million visitors annually, meaning there's plenty of potential for short-term letting in Edinburgh if you're considering becoming an Airbnb host.
The city has hosted the Commonwealth Games twice: once in 1970 and again in 2014 (the latter being the first time it had been held outside of England). The event saw athletes competing at venues across Scotland, including Meadowbank Stadium, which hosted aquatics events during both competitions.
Edinburgh Airport, located in Scotland, is the busiest airport in Scotland. The new terminal will be built on the old car park site, and it's expected to handle more than 10 million passengers a year.
This expansion is no surprise when considering how popular Edinburgh has become over recent years. If you want to stay close to all that this beautiful city has to offer but avoid having your house filled with noisy tourists at all hours of day or night (and let's face it--who doesn't?), then renting out your home through Airbnb may be just what you need!
Edinburgh is one of Scotland's most popular tourist destinations, with over 2.2 million people visiting the Scottish capital yearly. It boasts many historical sites, such as Edinburgh Castle and Holyrood Palace, and modern attractions, such as Princes Street Gardens, which hosts festivals throughout the summer, including Fringe Festival (the world's largest arts festival) and Tattoo (a traditional military display).
Scotland's capital is home to over 22,000 businesses owned by women and employs a further 30,000 women.
Edinburgh's economy is one of the strongest in Scotland, but it's not just men benefiting from this. The city is home to over 22,000 businesses owned by women and employs a further 30,000 women.
Edinburgh has been named the UK's most entrepreneurial city for women by PwC twice in recent years - no wonder many travellers want to visit!
Now that we have enough information on why Edinburgh can be the next hotspot for Airbnb businesses let’s take a closer look at the legalities involved in letting a rental place in Edinburgh!
What is a short-term let?
A short-term let is a property rented out for less than 28 days. Short-term lets are often called holiday lets, holiday rentals or vacation rentals.
They may also be known as 'mini hotels' because they provide similar facilities to hotels and guest houses - such as linen and towels - but at much lower costs to the customer.
Short-term letting in Edinburgh
Short-term lets, also known as 'holiday lets' or 'vacation rentals', are properties their owners rent out for a fixed period. The regulations for these kinds of rentals vary from one city to another.
Local authorities control short-term lets in designated control areas. This means there is a limit on how many properties can be used as holiday lets and where they can be located in relation to other residential homes or businesses. Landlords must apply for permission before they start renting out their property as a holiday let, which includes paying an annual fee of £1 per week per property (£48 per year).
Hosts can use this tool to check whether or not they need a licence and which type they require.
What are the regulations for a short-term let in Edinburgh?
As a landlord, you must register your property with the City of Edinburgh Council. This is done online and costs £100 per year. You will also need to apply for a licence to let out any individual rooms or flats within your property (each bedroom counts as one room). If you don't have enough rooms or flats that meet this requirement, then there are different rules depending on whether the entire building is registered as short-term lets or not:
- If it's not registered as short-term, let accommodation. Landlords still need permission from their council before letting out any part of their building as long-term rental accommodation - but only if this would result in more than five people living there at once!
- Alternatively, suppose it does qualify under these rules. In that case, landlords won't need any additional permissions from their local authority because they already have permission by having registered themselves as an STLA operator under section 6(1)(a).
Are there any restrictions on landlords in Edinburgh?
According to the regulations in Edinburgh, there are certain restrictions that landlords need to be aware of when engaging in short-term letting. While there is no restriction on the frequency of renting out your property, there are requirements and licensing obligations that must be fulfilled.
If you plan to rent out your property for more than 21 days in a year, you are required to register with the City of Edinburgh Council and obtain a short-term let license. This ensures that you are operating within the legal framework and complying with the regulations.
Additionally, if you intend to accommodate more than four people (excluding children) in your property at any given time, you will need to obtain a separate license from the council. This is to ensure the safety and suitability of the property for larger groups.
It is important to note that compliance with these regulations and obtaining the necessary licenses is crucial for landlords engaged in short-term letting in Edinburgh. Failure to comply may result in penalties and legal consequences.
Does the council control any short-term lets in Edinburgh?
According to the regulations, the City of Edinburgh Council does exercise control over short-term lets within the city. Hosts are required to adhere to the private rented sector (PRS) licensing scheme implemented by the council. This means that there are regulations and restrictions in place regarding the use of properties for short-term letting and their geographical proximity to other residential properties or businesses.
Under the PRS licensing scheme, hosts must apply for a short-term let license from the City of Edinburgh Council. The council maintains a register of licensed short-term lets and collects relevant data pertaining to these properties. It is essential for landlords engaging in short-term letting to comply with these regulations and obtain the necessary license.
Furthermore, the council has the authority to designate control areas to effectively manage concentrations of short-term lets. Within these control areas, planning permission is mandatory for the change of use of a dwelling house for short-term letting purposes, except in cases where it is the host's primary or sole residence.
It is crucial for hosts in Edinburgh to familiarise themselves with the regulations and licensing requirements set by the City of Edinburgh Council to ensure compliance with the law and avoid potential penalties or legal consequences.
Are there any fines for not complying with the regulations of short-term letting in Edinburgh?
Edinburgh City Council can impose fines of up to £2,500 on landlords who do not comply with the regulations. The council may also issue a notice requiring the property to be brought into compliance, and if this is not done within six months, it can take court action against you.
Short-term letting has become very popular, but how do you know if your property meets all legal requirements?
Before you start to advertise your property, it's important that you do some research.
You need to check the regulations and make sure that your home is safe for short-term letting. Here are some websites where you can find more information about this:
Curious to see how much you could earn on Airbnb? Schedule a free, no-strings-attached consultation with our Airbnb Management Edinburgh team to uncover your property’s revenue potential.
We hope this article has given you some insight into what it means to be a landlord. It's important to understand the legal requirements before you invest in property and start making money as a landlord. If you're looking for more information on short-term lets in Edinburgh, then head over to our website, where we have plenty more detailed articles about everything from tax implications of owning a property through Airbnb or other similar platforms like Gumtree or Craigslist - plus tips on how not get caught!