Edinburgh Council wrong not to relax 'unreasonably onerous' conditions on short-term lets during Festival – Scotsman comment

Finding temporary accommodation during the Edinburgh Festival is a real problem

Every August, Edinburgh Festival turns the city into a joyous celebration of humanity at its boldest, brashest and, sometimes, best. For a few weeks, it is the capital of not just Scotland but the entire artistic world. So if there was ever a time to ease “unreasonably onerous” conditions imposed on residents who want to let out a room to visitors, it would be then.

However, an Edinburgh Council committee has now rejected a plan by city officials for a trial relaxation of the rules. They dismissed the “one-sided, anecdotal evidence” in support of the idea, grumpily complaining it came as a “direct result of lobbying by the Festival Fringe”.

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The growth of short-term lets has created problems that should be addressed, but without damaging this wonderful, life-enhancing event. Failing to take the Fringe’s concerns about accommodation seriously may, in the short term, see visitors find places to stay in Fife and Lothian instead. In the longer term, such a hostile attitude risks driving away the Festival itself to another city – where it would doubtless be welcomed with open arms.



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