Back in October we shared news that upcoming changes in Scottish Government legislation had led to the City of Edinburgh Council (CEC) implementing controls around short-term lets.

We’re very supportive of regulation on short-term lets, particularly if it eases the housing crisis for Edinburgh residents. However, alongside Festivals Edinburgh and the Edinburgh International Festival, we expressed concerns that CEC’s interpretation of the legislation on home-sharing and home-letting – in particular adopting temporary six-week exemptions – would further impact the availability and affordability of temporary accommodation in Edinburgh during August. 

To be clear, the legislation laid before Scottish Parliament has capacity for temporary licences; however, CEC had not intended to exclude six-week exemptions for home-sharing and home-letting from the same conditions as longer lets. These terms refer specifically to primary lets – people renting out space in their own home, be it the whole property for a short time or a spare room – rather than secondary lets, ie someone renting out property they own but don’t live in. Many Edinburgh residents are able to let out their spare room during the festivals to earn some additional income, which could help during the current cost-of-living crisis. 

The Scottish Government has now confirmed that they are delaying implementation of the licensing until the end of September 2023, giving us more time to talk to policy makers to find solutions that work for everyone. As far as we’re aware, CEC still requires secondary lets to apply for planning permission.

Alongside this work, we’re also continuing to explore other options for accommodation, speaking to local accommodation providers and looking for creative solutions that could work for us and work for the city.

Affordable accommodation remains a real priority for artists, and we’ll continue to advocate on behalf of the Fringe community.

If you’re thinking about bringing a show to Fringe 2023 and you have any questions about this, or about anything else, please don’t hesitate to contact [email protected] – our team are here to help and support.