In Scotland, local authorities may soon have the power to set up “short-term let control areas” under planning regulations that would limit the growth and availability of home sharing services like Airbnb in certain areas.
The Herald Scotland claims the “explosion” of these kinds of rentals is contributing to a housing crisis in Edinburgh, with a decline in available rental homes coinciding with the surge in Airbnb listings and more housing stock available for short-term rentals than for traditional private rented homes.
Edinburgh City Council has already expressed interest the ability cap the number of short-term rentals in certain parts of the city and ensuring properties comply with health and safety rules.
“We’ve identified that licensing is the best route for us to be able to properly control short term lets and prevent the negative impacts that they have had on our city and our residents,” Kate Campbell, the council’s housing convener, told the Herald. “We’ll continue to take action through planning, addressing antisocial behaviour and frankly any route open to us, but we know the game changer for Edinburgh will be a licensing regime. So we’re delighted that this work is progressing at the Scottish Parliament and we will get the powers we need to protect homes and communities.”
Similarly, Scottish Greens housing spokesperson Andy Wightman has also called for greater rental regulation, noting the global pandemic has “shone a light” on the impact of illegal rentals, especially in shared buildings. “Any licensing scheme needs to be robust and recognise the impact this poorly regulated market has had on housing provision, as well as the impact these properties have on the surrounding community,” he said.