MSPs agree to greater regulation of short-term lets in Planning Bill

Landlords will be forced to acquire full planning permission to lease homes by the night on websites including Airbnb after changes to the Scottish Government’s Planning Bill were agreed by MSPs.

Holyrood’s local government and communities committee agreed an amendment from tabled by Scottish Greens MSP Andy Wightman which means that changing a property from a person’s home to a short-term let will require full planning consent based on clear criteria.

Local councils would determine such applications on the basis of local policy, and the changes would not affect homeowners or occupiers who only rent out a room.

Research by the Scottish Greens shows that in Edinburgh alone there is 6,200 flats available for short-term let, with the owner not present in 55% of cases and owned a landlord with multiple properties in one third of cases.

Mr Wightman said: “We know that the uncontrolled and rapid rise in short-term lets in our cities and our rural communities is depriving families and individuals of badly-needed long-term homes. I am pleased that the minister has agreed to discuss this matter further as the bill progresses through Parliament.”