I get questions from time to time about the status of Airbnb lets in Edinburgh. Here is my understanding of the situation.
Is Airbnb regulated or licensed by the Council? Airbnb and the homeowners who take bookings via the website do not require permission from the Council. Edinburgh Council licences 'Houses in Multiple Occupation', but short term lets are exempt as the property being let is not the main residence of the person making the booking.
Can the Council introduce a licensing system for Airbnb? No. The Scottish Parliament would need to introduce new legislation giving local authorities additional powers.
Does the Council keep a register of homes which are let via the Airbnb website? No. The owners do not require the permission of the Council and the Council has no way of knowing which homes are being used in this way.
Do let properties require planning permission? The answer is that in certain circumstances they may but it depends on the circumstances and the answer is complicated.
What can be done about anti-social behaviour? Anti-social behaviour from Airbnb tenants can be reported to the police in the same way anti-social behaviour is dealt with elsewhere.
I hope the above answers some of the questions - but I appreciate there may be others.