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


Short Lets Court Case - what next for regulation?

The leader of the council that was rebuffed by a court when it tried to control the spread of Airbnb-style short lets says he is considering the next steps.

A group of four short lets accommodation providers brought the Judicial Review into Edinburgh council’s policy after raising over £300,000 through crowdfunding. Over 1,000 individuals donated to the cause, which has become the largest crowdfunder in Scottish legal history.

The council scheme demanded hosts wanting to use their property as a short let to apply for a licence by October of this year; they would need planning permission or a ‘certificate of lawfulness’ if the property were to be designated a short let in the long term.


The accommodation providers argued that the policy, which included entire flats within Edinburgh’s tenements for holiday let usage, was a de-facto ban on short lets in the Scottish capital and would “damage a key component part of the city’s economy for no discernible benefit”.

Now the Labour council leader, Cammy Day, says: “While I’m obviously disappointed that the court didn’t find in favour of our policy on secondary lets, I make absolutely no apology for seeking to protect our residents."

He continues: “It’s no secret that we face unique housing pressures here in Edinburgh, with a small but densely populated city centre and fast growing population, and it's crucial for us to strike the right balance between promoting our visitor economy while looking after the people that live here all year round.  

“Our residents have told us that, in many cases, STLs are hollowing out their communities, reducing housing supply and increasing housing costs. We can’t forget that many have endured years of disturbance and anti-social behaviour and we will continue to work hard to get this right.

“The court acknowledged our intention to find a solution to this and agreed that it was legitimate to use both planning and licensing policy. We welcome the clarity provided and will now consider our next steps in more detail.

“We remain committed to ensuring the whole city benefits from our thriving visitor economy but it has to be managed and it has to be sustainable – and I continue to believe that fair and effective STL controls would be an important step in the right direction.”


Please login to comment

MovePal MovePal MovePal
sign up