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Edinburgh set to charge Airbnb owners extra in bid to tackle rubbish

Edinburgh Council is considering whether the owners of Airbnb-style properties can be charged for bin collections.

It comes after some local authorities in England opted to charge short-term lets for waste management or arrange commercial pick-ups.

The plans, first reported in The Herald, will be considered at the council’s environment committee.

It comes after concerns about the volume of rubbish produced by short-term lets in central Edinburgh.

Environment convener Scott Arthur said: “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.”

Any new charge would be separate to business rates or council tax already paid by owners of Airbnb-style properties.

New regulations for Airbnb-style properties came into effect in Edinburgh in October last year.

Visitors booking short-term lets in the city were told to look out for licence numbers in adverts to ensure the property meets the requirements.

Hosts can face fines of £2,500 if they have not complied.

The news comes a week after Michael Gove announced proposals to require planning permission for short-term lets, such as Airbnb, to tackle a “hollowing out” of communities.

The new law would require people letting out their property as a short-term holiday home to seek permission from the local authority under a new “use” category.

The rules would not apply to people renting out their main home for 90 days or less in a year.

A mandatory national register would be set up providing councils with information on short-term lets in their area. Mr Gove, secretary of state for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, said: “These changes will ensure people have more control over housing in their cherished communities.

“We know short-term lets can be helpful for the tourist economy, but we are now giving councils the tools to bring them under control so that local people can rent those homes as well.

“These changes strike a balance between giving local people access to more affordable housing, while ensuring the visitor economy continues to flourish.”

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