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Edinburgh Council forced to go back to drawing board over licensing

Edinburgh Scotland

Short-term let landlords in Edinburgh have won their legal case against the council'�s licensing scheme.

In the biggest crowdfunded case in Scottish legal history, a judge has ruled that parts of the policy are unlawful after property owners and a marketing company took action against the local authority.

Rolled out in response to concerns about the impact of a rise in properties being used as short-term lets, the scheme requires hosts to apply for a licence by October. Those who list entire properties on Airbnb and similar sites also need to seek planning permission, or just a '�certificate of lawfulness'� if used as a short let for more than ten years.

Entire flats

The case centred around petitioners'� opposition to a presumption against allowing entire flats within the city'�s tenements to be used as holiday lets, reports Scottish Housing News. The policy states that, 'secondary letting in tenement or shared main door accommodation is considered as unsuitable'� and the burden would be on the applicant to demonstrate why they should be exempt from the rule.

The challenge was successful, with Lord Braid finding that the council'�s policy is unlawful at common law, in respect of the rebuttable presumption, the lack of provision for temporary licences and the requirement to supply floor coverings.


Opponents donated more than �300,000 to help fund the judicial review at the Court of Session and believe the decision has ramifications for licensing schemes across Scotland.

Edinburgh Council leader Cammy Day says: '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 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.'�


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