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New attack on Airbnb landlords - possible charge for bin collections

Media outlets in Scotland are reporting that Edinburgh council is considering charging short let landlords for bin collections.

The plans are to be considered at the council’s upcoming environment committee.

Properties let via Airbnb and other short let platforms are already highly-regulated in Scotland; many are already charged business rates and council tax at higher rates than those applied to domestic properties. 


Reports suggest there have been growing concern about the amount of rubbish generated by some tenants using short lets.

One Scottish newspaper quotes Edinburgh council’s environment convenor Scott Arthur saying: “Following feedback from residents, council officers are currently looking at the issue of whether short-term let operators can be charged for their waste collections. This will be reported to and considered by committee in due course.”

Visitors booking short-term lets in the city are advised by the council to check for licence numbers in adverts to ensure the property pays a licence fee to the authority; landlords can face fines of £2500 if they have not complied.

At the end of 2023 Edinburgh council called for emergency legislation from the Scottish Government to help it and other councils stop the spread of Airbnbs and other short lets.

Edinburgh council failed in its legal bid to classify the entire city as a ‘control area’ and so called on the Scottish Government to rectify this by changing the law.

The council’s legal failure meant that it was no longer able to demand that all landlords of ‘entire property’ short lets secured planning permission as part of their application for a licence: instead the council could only do this to those short let landlords who began operating after the control area was introduced back in September 2022.

Late last year the council admitted that the legal ruling meant that potentially thousands of applications would have to be assessed on a case-by-case basis to test if the change of use of a property had been ‘material’ - an exercise which may be difficult or impossible for the authority’s planners.

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    Today Airbnb.
    Tomorrow landlords. 😡


    Glasgow Council try to charge landlords to use the dump to dispose of tenants' rubbish which they have left behind.

    Peter Why Do I Bother

    Preston Council do the same Robert. You spend 18 months trying to get rid of someone and they leave a house full of crap. You end up paying council tax but cannot use any services? Last time I did this I was sent to the commercial waste place when apparently I am not a commercial business. Get there and they tell me I have to go back to the local tip.

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    Fly tipping and rates then

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    In England short lets (holiday lets) are expected to pay for commercial waste collection already. At least that is the case in Cornwall. If you go the short let route to avoid the tax disincentives to longer term lets you are changing the whole business model. I am surprised a city like Edinburgh had not done this a long time ago.

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    ...so, they are already paying council tax, which should already cover waste collection, no? And their council tax is apparently higher than that of domestic properties, which should therefore account for the higher amount of rubbish they are apparently generating, right? If something like this was proposed in any other industry would it not be linked with the word 'scam'?


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