A report being considered by a council says one of the UK’s biggest cities could see an 80 per cent collapse in Airbnbs and other short lets because of new regulations.
The Edinburgh council report, prepared for the authority’s policy and sustainability committee but leaked online by a councillor, warns of the impact of changes proposed for the short let sector.
The Scottish Government’s new licensing scheme requires Airbnb and other short lets hosts to display EPC ratings on advertisements, prove the existence of buildings and public liability insurance, and undertake fire and gas safety precautions - very similar to those requirements on the mainstream private rental sector.
Hosts and landlords have to register by October 1 to ensure they can continue trading.
In addition, Edinburgh council is considering a visitor levy which would be applied to short let accommodation as well as hotels and more traditional bed and breakfast operations.
There has been widespread opposition to the measures, from short let trade bodies and operators as well as individual hosts.
Now the council’s report - leaked by a Tory councillor on X, the social media site previously known as Twitter - says there is “an assumption of an 80 per cent reduction from the Edinburgh 2021 number of active listings reported on Airbnb, as a proxy for the size of short-terms lets”.
A Scottish Government spokesperson has told the Edinburgh media: “All councils are working through the increasing number of short-term let hosts applying for a licence by 1 October. To date, no short-term let licence applications have been refused in Edinburgh and as long as an application has been received by the deadline, hosts can continue to trade after that date.
“Good quality standards are at the heart of regulating the short-term let sector, as well as providing assurance to visitors and guests staying in Scotland.
“Many hosts will already be meeting licensing conditions as a matter of compliance with existing law or best practice. As well as ensuring short-term lets have to meet consistent standards, the licensing scheme will also provide accurate numbers of such lets for the first time.
“Edinburgh City Council has adjusted its short-term let policies to take account of a recent Judicial Review which required some aspects to be amended, and is accepting and processing more applications on a daily basis.”