by Association of Scotland’s Self-Caterers (ASSC)
We at the ASSC have been alerted to an increasing number of operators being served with enforcement notices to cease trading in their short-term rental properties.
There is an alarming trend emerging that has the potential to negatively impact the livelihoods of many of our members in Edinburgh as well as the wider tourism economy of the city.
If a neighbour complains to the local authority about someone running a short-term rental, their property and business may be shut down. City of Edinburgh Council are already fast-tracking closures of short-term accommodation as a result of neighbourhood objections. This is being exacerbated by constant negative press and one-sided social media campaigns.
With over 3,500 professional operators in Edinburgh alone, this has far reaching consequences, not just for short-term renters but for the entire wider tourism sector in the city and across Scotland.
Why we need your help:
As an organisation, the ASSC has decided that we have to take action.
We have identified a test case to stop this worrying trend. The ASSC has decided to actively support one of our members in challenging a recent planning decision by the DPEA Planning and Environmental Appeals Division, Scotland.
The case: Alleged Unauthorised Material Change Of Use Of The Property From Residential To A Short Stay Commercial Visitor Accommodation (Sui Generis)
We believe that the Reporter’s decision, to dismiss the appeal, is unjustified and we are supporting an appeal to take this to court.
It is critical that the court of session upholds our appeal in order to create the first precedent case in Scotland and to inform City of Edinburgh Council’s policy on short-term rental in the future.
Who does this affect:
Anyone who rents out their home or property out on a full-time or occasional basis will be affected by this judgment.
If the appeal is dismissed by the Court of Session, it could have a hugely detrimental impact on managing agents, property managers, Airbnb and other platform hosts, and individuals.
This decision also has the knock-on potential to cause significant difficulties for many businesses associated with tourism in Edinburgh.
Furthermore, the ramifications of this case for the short-term rental and wider tourism sectors could potentially be felt in other areas of the country if this decision is allowed to go unchallenged.
Short-term rental consistently makes a significant contribution to the local and national economies and is a key component in satisfying visitor demand by offering an authentic, ‘live like a local’, experience for tourists.
The ASSC believes that this appeal is central to obtaining clarification about the role this policy plays in achieving the with Edinburgh’s Tourism Strategy ‘Edinburgh 2020’ headline objective, “To increase the number of visits to the City by one third”.
The ASSC also believes that short-term rental has a significant part to play in achieving this objective. If apartments are being served planning notices to cease trading, this will present a significant barrier to growth.
We want Edinburgh to remain the vibrant tourist destination it has grown to be and believe that, if it is allowed to, the short-term rental sector will cotinine to be a key part in making this possible.
How you can help:
1. Make a donation NOW to support the legal fees associated with this legal appeal, it is time critical.
We are raising funds for this appeal in stages. The first stage is to raise funds for our lawyers to look at the case and give us a legal opinion on the prospects of the appeal being successful.
2. Continue to support this cause.
The ASSC respectfully recommends that City of Edinburgh Council needs to produce a clear and transparent policy regarding traditional short-term rental, with clear guidance on the criteria that apply.