Should Airbnbs Require Planning Permission
In some major cities, with plenty of tourist attractions, a large number of properties are rented out using platforms like Airbnb. Short Term Lets (SLTs) like these tend to attract a specific type of renter – holidaymakers, mini-breakers and professionals needing a quick place to stay for work. Residents who live next to these properties often complain about the situation, as short-term renters may not have the same consideration for the community.
With the impact some short-term rentals have on local communities and neighbourhoods, a possible solution is to make owners apply for planning permission. The planning permission application would change the use of the property.
Edinburgh’s Proposed New Rules
Edinburgh is a city that suffers from a large number of SLTs. Edinburgh council has a proposal to reduce the impact of these properties. They want owners to apply for planning permission before using their property for SLTs. These regulations target properties used almost exclusively for renting. People who rent out their homes for short periods will not have to make any changes.
The legislation is awaiting a decision by the Scottish parliament. They have already approved a licensing scheme affecting these properties that the Edinburgh council previously requested. Experts expect that the Scottish parliament will agree to the request.
When Edinburgh council asked for opinions on their idea, there was a lot of support. Many locals feel that Airbnbs and other short term lets as causing disruption in communities. They believe that if there are fewer SLTs, there will be fewer instances of drunken and disorderly conduct. In short, many locals hope they won’t have so many nights disturbed by noisy neighbours.
Many of those asked were also in favour of a control area. This would limit SLT properties to specific areas of the city. The aim being to push SLTs out of areas where it’s not in keeping with the character of an area. Locals hope that doing so would also open up more properties for permanent residents.
While there is widespread support among residents, some local businesses are less sure about the scheme. In general, they agreed with the idea of limiting where these properties can be located. However, they were concerned about the size of the control area.
Impact on Landlords
If the scheme is a success in Edinburgh, it is likely that similar rules might be applied in other major cities. This could disrupt the rental market quite significantly. As Airbnb has become big business, a lot of landlords have shifted to these lucrative SLTs, especially if they own properties in central locations.
Landlords who have multiple properties and are experienced with more traditional renting arrangements may simply shift back to these. However, the boom of Airbnb led to a lot of people getting into letting for the first time. Many of these landlords may not be prepared to consider more traditional arrangements. If these landlords can no longer rent their properties as they wish, it is probable that they will simply sell up.
Edinburgh may be an exceptional case, as the city is popular with holidaymakers for short visits, especially during The Edinburgh Festival. Around 10% of rental properties in the city are SLTs. So, if these schemes will expand beyond Edinburgh is uncertain, but it is well worth considering if Airbnb is a route you’re considering.
Getting an Assessment
If you are selling or renting your property and need any type of assessment, get in touch To book your Assessment, the team at Assessment Hive are happy to help you. Should Airbnbs Require Planning Permission.