Edinburgh Council hopes holiday lets landlords will quit the crowded market and convert their investments from rental to residential properties

Landlords in Scotland’s tenement blocks will have to wait even longer to rent out their homes after the Scottish Government ruled that those with shared facilities – including communal entrances, stairs and landings – can’t re-open in line with the rest of the holiday lets sector.

Reinforcing its reputation for cracking down on short-term lets, Edinburgh Council has welcomed the decision and is now calling on landlords to consider moving properties back into residential use or renting them to it instead.

Council leaders want landlords to help it tackle homelessness long-term and have also vowed to continue taking action against those who break the Scottish Government’s rules; even during lockdown it served planning enforcement notices against three properties – forcing them to be discontinued as short-term lets – and has a further five cases pending.

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Council Leader Adam McVey says: “I want to see us work with rather than against landlords to make the rental market fairer on everybody who lives here. During lockdown, with our partners, we’ve successfully brought a number of short-term let properties back into residential use to help us house people experiencing homelessness.

“We face a huge challenge housing people who need it, and we’re saying strongly and clearly that landlords running short-term lets from residentials without permission should stop and move their property back into residential use. However, as lockdown restrictions begin to ease, we also need to be clear that we will take action if required.” Earlier this year, Edinburgh Old Town was found to have the highest incidence of Airbnbs, with 29 active listings for every 100 properties.

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