Short-term let landlords get two years to prepare for new licensing system

Short-term lets have been linked to noise, nuisance, anti-social behaviour and loss of housing stockShort-term lets have been linked to noise, nuisance, anti-social behaviour and loss of housing stock
Short-term lets have been linked to noise, nuisance, anti-social behaviour and loss of housing stock
Short-term let landlords will have two years from the start of the planned new licensing scheme to submit their applications.

Announcing details of how the proposed regulation of Airbnb-style accommodation will work, the Scottish Government said if approved by parliament, the licensing scheme will come into force on April 1, 2021. But local authorities will have until April 1, 2022 to establish a scheme in their area and open it to receive applications, with existing hosts having until April 1, 2023 to apply.

The original plan would have allowed councils to set their own deadline, but the government said the change would make the scheme easier to understand and enforce and give hosts more time to prepare.

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The move followed a consultation on the proposals, which received more than 1,000 responses. Secondary legislation will be laid at the Scottish Parliament later this month.

The government’s scheme will also allow councils to declare short-term let control areas where a change of use to whole-property lets would require planning permission.

Housing Minister Kevin Stewart said the report setting out the details marked an important milestone in the work to strike the right balance between the needs of local communities and wider economic and tourism interests.

Residents have expressed concern about the impact of short-term lets in their communities, including noise, nuisance, anti-social behaviour and a loss of residential housing stock.

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"Our proposals to regulate short-term lets will ensure these properties adhere to a common set of safety standards to protect guests and neighbours. Many responsible hosts will already be following these safety standards – our proposals will help to ensure that all comply.

“However, we have also listened closely to the representations made by business and tourism stakeholders. We are acutely aware of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on this sector right now. A large number of comments in the consultation centred on whether to proceed with regulation at this time or to delay it. We have amended our proposals to ensure that existing hosts have more than two years to prepare.

“Our proposals support work towards a strong recovery of responsible and sustainable tourism in Scotland.”

The impact of the new proposals will be monitored and evaluated to ensure they are effective and targeted.

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