Edinburgh Council takes action to clamp down on Short Term Lets

Edinburgh City Council’s planning committee has agreed that the whole of Edinburgh should be a Short Term Letting (STL) control area and they have applied to the Scottish Government for this to be approved.


Property owners letting out a residential property, other than their own home, on a short term basis will have to apply for “change of use” for the property with the council. Renting out individual rooms in your own home would still be allowed under a STL control area.



This is part of a plan to clamp down on an estimated 10,000 residential properties in Edinburgh being used as AirBnB-style lettings. The Scottish Government and Edinburgh Council want to manage STLs in areas of high concentration, where the lack of long-term residents has removed the community aspect of these neighbourhoods. They also wish to restrict STLs in places and buildings where they are not appropriate, including many shared staircases to reduce the impact on neighbouring properties. This could be the curtain call for landlords renting out their flats in shared staircases on a STL basis which is sure to be (much quieter!) music to the ears of owner occupiers in neighbouring flats within these buildings!


The legislation is expected to encourage some landlords to switch their properties over to the long-term market, providing some much-needed additional supply to the long-term rental market.



The Scottish Government recently approved new legislation determining that all short term let properties must have a license by July 2024, with local authorities having until 1st October 2022 to establish a licensing scheme. Edinburgh council, where a large proportion of STLs are located, have therefore been quick off the mark to get things moving. 


More information will follow on whether the Scottish Government will approve the overarching application by Edinburgh Council along with the finer details of the city’s licensing scheme. Estimates are that a 3 year license will cost landlords between £214 and £436.