toggle menu
X

Edinburgh World Heritage/News/Our position on the regulation of Short Term Lets in the City of Edinburgh

Our position on the regulation of Short Term Lets in the City of Edinburgh

20th October 2021

Nicholas Hotham

Edinburgh World Heritage strongly supports moves by City of Edinburgh Council to better regulate Short-Term Lets (STLs).

In our view, the unregulated growth of STLs in Edinburgh over the past 10 years has led to a series of negative consequences:

  • The number of homes available for rent to local people has reduced significantly, at a time of a general housing shortage due to other factors. As a consequence, rents have increased ahead of inflation making many properties unaffordable.
  • The high concentration of STLs within the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh World Heritage Site has resulted in a reduction in the resident population, and subsequent weakening of local communities.
  • For those residents that remain, the concentration of STLs can result in unwanted noise, disruption, and anti-social behaviour, especially in Edinburgh’s traditional tenement properties with a shared staircase.
  • The reduced number of owner-occupiers in tenements can also result in essential common maintenance and repair work being neglected and postponed thus compromising the conserving of our precious historic environment.

Over time, we believe that high levels of STLs will also result in a loss of character, and a weakening of the communities who are the custodians of the intangible heritage of the World Heritage Site. This puts the Old Town, in particular, at risk. After over 1,000 years of vibrant history, the area is fast becoming a tourist ghetto devoid of the authenticity and local colour which, ironically, visitors wish to experience.

Given we do not want to see this issue simply transplanted to other parts of the city, we strongly support City of Edinburgh Council’s plan to create a STL Control Area for the entire Council area.

 

Sign up to our newsletter

Get the latest updates on our work in the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh World Heritage site, plus news, events and exclusive offers.