The Court of Session have today issued Lord Braid’s decision in a Judicial Review of City of Edinburgh Council’s Short Term Lets Licensing Policy. The challenge was successful with the Court finding that the Council’s policy is unlawful at common law, in respect of the rebuttable presumption, the lack of provision for temporary licences and the requirement to supply floor coverings. The court also found that the policy breaches The Provision of Services Regulations 2009 regulations.
Rosie Walker, Partner and Head of Litigation at Gilson Gray who represented the Edinburgh short-term let operators who brought the action against City of Edinburgh Council, said: “The court found that the City of Edinburgh Council’s short-term let licensing policy was unlawful at common law and in breach of The Provision of Services Regulations 2009 for a number of different reasons. Most strikingly they found that it was not for the Council as Licencing Authority to decide that a licence should not be granted just because a property is in a tenement.
Our clients took the brave decision to bring this action against the local authority to protect their businesses and, more widely, to protect an industry that is very important to the Edinburgh economy. Short-term accommodation providers create a significant number of jobs in the city and deliver flexible accommodation that hotels and other operators simply cannot – particularly during important events like the Edinburgh Festival. The campaign was the largest crowdfunded legal case in Scottish history, underlining the strength of support for our clients. It comes on the back of years of engagement by the Industry with the Scottish Government and the local authority to try to put in place a workable regulatory framework.
Rosie Walker and her team at Gilson Gray specialise in public law and Judicial Review.