Edinburgh Lib Dems are calling on the SNP/Labour Council administration to get its act together for the expected start of licensing for short term lets. It is expected that from the spring of next year, every short term let will need a licence and the Council will have the power to insist on planning permission for lets in new ‘control areas’.
These new rules will be particularly welcome for residents in city centre tenements who have been disturbed by anti-social behaviour from flats used for short-term lets. They will have a huge impact on the City as it is believed that there are presently around 6,500 active listings for whole properties in Edinburgh being used as short term lets.
The Council’s finances are not currently in good shape and major savings are required to balance the budget. If it is not properly prepared, the extra costs of resourcing the expected surge in applications, along with planning enforcement enquiries where landlords fail to apply, could have a significant knock-on effect for delivery of the planning and licensing departments overall workload. That’s why I tabled a motion at the November meeting of the full Council asking for a report to quantify the likely costs to process these applications and also to outline the options for funding this. The report is expected early next year.