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Claphams Solicitors' Latest News

The latest legal news and announcements from Claphams Solicitors.

Edinburgh Council new short-term let scheme ruled 'unlawful'

A judge has invalidated the City of Edinburgh Council's short-term rental licensing programme less than four months after it was set to take effect.

The Court of Session determined that certain provisions of the new policy intended to control short-term lets in the city were illegal. 

The four petitioners claimed the programme was "onerous and oppressive" and went beyond the government's initial goals, which were to increase visitor safety, and they raised £300,000 to pay for the judicial review.

Campaigners hailed the ruling as "a victory for law and common sense" and said it should herald a "fresh approach" from the council and Scottish Government to licensing short-term rentals. 

The deadline for holiday let hosts to file an application was extended from April to October 1. However, as the council deals with the aftermath, the date is now set to be pushed back further.

Fiona Campbell, chief executive of the Association of Scotland’s Self-Caterers, said: “We are pleased this decision from the Court of Session confirms that City of Edinburgh Council’s short-term let licensing policy was unlawful in respect of the rebuttal presumption and contravenes Provision of Services Regulations." 

The ruling "demonstrates how a small group of people can use their money and power to weaponise the legal system to their advantage," said Eilidh Keay of renters' union Living Rent Edinburgh.

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