Edinburgh’s Second Homeowners Face 100% Council Tax Rise – Could Long-Term Letting Be The Answer?

Anyone owning a second home in Edinburgh will soon see their council tax bill DOUBLE after new powers were approved by the Scottish Government. Homes that are occupied for more than 25 days a year but are not a main residence will be charged 200% council tax by Edinburgh City Council from 1 April 2024. 

But the city’s leading letting agent Clan Gordon says long-term letting could be the solution for many second homeowners, providing an income to cover the additional cost and putting much-needed property back into the local rental market. 

Making More Homes Available To Rent 

The Scottish Government’s move is designed to encourage owners to rent out properties that are left empty for long periods, helping to ease the housing shortage in many of Scotland’s cities. In Edinburgh, rental property has been in short supply for several years, and demand consistently exceeds supply. 

Homes are often snapped up even before being advertised as desperate tenants battle to find a property. Registering with a letting agent and getting approved in advance is essential to stand a chance of securing a property, and rents are at a record high across the city. 

Limiting Short-Term Lets in Edinburgh 

Edinburgh was designated a short-term let control area in 2022 as part of another legislative move by the Scottish Government to make more property available to rent and reduce anti-social behaviour associated with short-term letting. 

All short-term lets in Scotland now require a licence, and properties in tenement blocks with shared entrances and hallways are broadly deemed unsuitable. Many Edinburgh landlords whose properties had been used as Airbnbs were expected to switch to long-term letting in their droves, but the market hasn’t seen the anticipated influx of new rental properties.  

Long-Term Letting Could Be The Answer 

For property owners facing a 100% increase in their council tax bill, long-term letting is an attractive option that provides a steady income without too much input - especially if the property is managed by a letting agent. 

A reputable letting agent will look after everything, from preparing the property for rent to drawing up the tenancy agreement and carrying all the necessary safety checks. Ongoing repairs and maintenance are looked after, and the property is regularly inspected to ensure it is being properly cared for by the tenants. 

A letting agent is the tenant’s main point of contact in case of any issues – and that includes managing any repair and maintenance headaches. A letting agent will also handle difficult issues such as rent not being paid on time and will liaise with tenants if repayment plans are required, or when rent increases are made. 

If you own a second home in Edinburgh and want to discuss options for long-term letting, talk to the city’s award-winning letting agent. At Clan Gordon, we have over 15 years’ experience in the local property market and look after more than 500 homes for landlords across the city.  

To find out more, arrange a call with one of our professional property managers. 


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