October 13, 2023 5:13 pm

Insert Lead Generation
Nikka Sulton

A tenants’ union in Scotland, Living Rent, has launched an app to simplify complaints about short-term rentals. The app enables users to enter their postcode, find the nearest short-term rental, and generate a complaint letter to authorities, which can be personalized with their contact details.

This initiative aims to empower the community to voice concerns about the impact of short lets on neighborhoods.

The app serves users exclusively in Scotland, where a new scheme, effective since October 1, requires short-term landlords to obtain a license before commencing operations. Non-compliance may result in a £2,500 fine and a one-year ban on license applications.

To secure a license, operators must seek planning permission to use their properties for short-term rentals. The app’s functionality is centered around identifying these planning permission requests and generating automated objections on behalf of its users.

App for Voicing Concerns About Short-Term Rentals“To whom it may concern,

“I am writing to comment in opposition to application reference number XXXX at XXXX.

“Our city is in the midst of a catastrophic housing crisis, and I believe that every holiday let is one less home for ordinary residents to live in. This development would exacerbate the crisis for all residents of the city, displacing people from their communities, driving up rents, and further reducing the desperately needed numbers of homes in the city. Planning decisions should first and foremost cater for the needs and interests of the city’s residents, and this proposed development runs counter to that.

“Moreover, I believe that this development is incompatible with planning and development policies at both a local and national level.

“The Edinburgh City Plan 2030 states that “[p]roposals which would result in the loss of residential dwellings through demolition or a change of use will not be permitted”. Every proposed holiday let could be a residential dwelling, and I do not believe that granting this application is in keeping with the policies outlined in the City Plan.

“The plan goes on to state that “[d]evelopments, including change of use which would have a materially detrimental effect on the living conditions of nearby residents, will not be permitted.” The impact of high concentrations of holiday lets on nearby rent levels is well documented, and I believe that granting this application will exacerbate the hardship faced by tenants in the community, and therefore is not in keeping with the City Plan.

“The Scottish Government’s National Planning Framework 4 states:

“Development proposals for the reuse of existing buildings for short term holiday letting should not be supported if it would result in:

“• an unacceptable impact on the local amenity or character of a neighbourhood or area; or

“• the loss of residential accommodation where such loss is not outweighed by local economic benefits.”

“I strongly maintain that this development would have detrimental effects on the local amenity and character of the area, by removing what should be residential accommodation from local supply. I see no evidence that any local economic benefits outweigh this loss. It also seems clear to me that this development will place a significant burden on local services such as rubbish collection and public transport, negatively impacting all local residents within the community.”


You can see the app here.


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