Understanding Changes to Short-Term Letting Regulations in Edinburgh

December 2, 2022

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Planning control areas

Earlier this year, Edinburgh became the first city in Scotland to restrict the use of properties for short-term lettings. The Scottish government passed a policy which means that the city of Edinburgh has now become a planning control area. Planning control areas have been introduced to tackle the lack of affordable housing, and increase availability of long-term housing. 

What is a planning control area, and what does this mean for my property?

A planning control area is a designated zone where all properties, that are not primary homes, require planning permissions from their local council to operate short term lettings. You can view a map of the planning control area boundary on Edinburgh City Council’s website

Edinburgh City Council have highlighted that if your property is a tenement, your request for planning permission to short-let will be denied. The property needs to have its own front door in order to gain planning permission to short-let. 

If you’ve already been using your property for short-term lettings, you’ll still need to apply for planning permission, unless you’ve been operating for 10+ years. If you’ve been using your property for short-lets for more than ten years you’ll have to apply for a Certificate of Lawfulness.

Do I need a licence to short let my property?

Edinburgh Council also introduced a new licensing scheme that came into effect from 1 October 2022. All new hosts intending to short-let their property will need to apply for a licence by 1 April 2023, and it will need to be in place by April 2024. If you were short-letting your property before 1 October, you’ll still need to apply for a licence by April 1 2023. 

Can I still host with Houst if I don’t want to apply for planning permissions or licensing?

If you’re a primary homeowner, there are no requirements to apply for planning permissions or licensing. You can continue hosting with Houst as usual. 

If you’re a secondary homeowner, you can apply for a temporary licence to short-let. This licence will allow you to try out short-term lettings for 6 weeks, before making a full application. 

If you still don’t want to apply for planning permissions or licensing to let your property, you can still host with Houst. Current legislation means that properties used for home sharing and long term lettings do not require a licence or planning permissions. 

At Houst, we use a unique strategy to help our hosts continue earning all year round. We use a mix of short, medium and long-term lettings to stay within regulations while helping you earn more. Our platform features a calendar feature that syncs across multiple platforms to attract different types of guests through the year. It's generally Airbnb during the summer months followed by medium, corporate and student lets for the rest of the year. With this strategy, we help you earn up to 30%-50% more than long lets alone.

If you need advice regarding the new legislation, please feel free to book a free consultation with our Airbnb experts.

About Houst London

Houst was launched in London in 2015. Since then, our team has been helping homeowners and landlords across the capital increase their earnings while managing everything for them. We're now the world's largest Airbnb host management service.

Our highest earning host has a 3-Bed Apartment in Old Street with 94% occupancy!

To make the most of your property, we list on multiple booking platforms, maximising your income from a unique mix of short, medium and long-lettings all year round.

We have teams of professional cleaners, housekeepers and partners to turnaround laundry on-demand, and our London-based team writes your listings, takes photographs and offers expert advice on how to improve your property for business and holiday short-lets. Meanwhile, our pricing specialists are continuously working hard to optimise your occupancy and overall revenue.

Our Guide to Short-Let Management

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