Thanks for your question. I am a solicitor in Scotland. You don't need a landlord registration for holiday lets nor do you need an HMO licence. I would not try to claim student exemption if you weren't registered at the relevant time as they could prosecute for not being registered as a landlord. Put that down to experience. If the property isn't an HMO then just tell them that and that you are the only occupier. Note that the holiday lets have to be bona fide holiday makers and not tenants living there as their home, such as students. The onus will be on you to prove that if you are challenged so make sure you keep copies of properly worded holiday let contracts and that your website or that of your agent specifies holiday lets. Be very careful with Edinburgh City Council. That will come after you if they even suspect you are in breach of the various laws as you have already seen. I hope that helps. Please leave a positive rating so that I am credited for my time.
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I think my English colleague may not have noticed that you are in Edinburgh and that Scots law applies. If I have answered your question please leave a positive rating on the system. If you have any further questions about this please let me know. Regards, JGM