By using this website, you agree to our use of cookies to enhance your experience.
Graham Awards


What a performance! Edinburgh artists suffer because of rental rules

A lettings group says the high-profile struggle performers at the Edinburgh Fringe now face to find affordable short-term accommodation was entirely predictable.

The National Landlords Association last year highlighted that more landlords in Scotland were selling than buying on the back of the introduction of the Scottish Private Residential Tenancy in 2017.

The association warned that this would lead to artists - who have traditionally relied on renting student flats during the university summer break - struggling to find accommodation during festival season.


At the time, NLA chief executive Richard Lambert explained that the PRT removed the flexibility of the sector to meet the varied needs of renters, particularly students and those seeking short-term tenancies.

The Scottish Government decided that student tenancies should be open-ended, rather than give an exemption linking them to the academic year, so landlords could not risk advertising them unless the tenants had confirmed they were leaving. 

Now the NLA says that, as it anticipated, many students only did this in May, putting pressure on both the Fringe and on students looking for accommodation for the next academic year.

With the importance of the Festival and the Fringe to Edinburgh and the influx of people requiring shorter tenancies, the NLA believes the Scottish Government should look again at a student exemption to the PRT to prevent this shortage in accommodation next year.

Lambert says: “It’s too late to do anything around the situation in Edinburgh for this year. We predicted that performers would struggle to find place to stay following these changes."

He continues: “Because student landlords don’t know if or when their properties will be available, they’re unable to advertise their properties for the Fringe in time. If this continues year-on-year, low-income and lesser known artists will struggle to find short-term accommodation, significantly reducing the variety of the acts.

“Rents are being pushed up in the student market for the same reason, because there are fewer properties coming onto the market. Students don’t want or need indefinite tenancies, so they would lose nothing from an exemption, but would gain from the return of a stable market.”

  • icon

    Another total mess by the Scot Gov...help!

  • icon

    Excuse my ignorance, but isn't it the case that students can benefit because they can give notice when they want? Or do they still sign fixed term agreements but then give notice a month before the end? Perhaps someone in Scotland can explain? Because I am imagining that in the Scottish incarnation of indefinite tenancies as well as maybe in the mooted English and Welsh incarnations, students will be able to sign eg from towards the end of September and then choose to give a month's notice eg in April, with houses then being left empty for up to 4 months - unusable because short term summer contracts would be illegal.


    The lease is open ended and most tenants who are leaving give notice (84 days) and leave on 31 May. The main change is that tenants are taking properties from June rather than September to secure accommodation for the next academic year. Purpose built student accommodation is exempt from the PRT and can still offer fixed term contracts.

  • icon

    we all know that the politicians know best.


Please login to comment

MovePal MovePal MovePal
sign up