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Consultation on licensing for short term lets is to take place in Scotland over seven weeks this summer.
This was confirmed by Housing Secretary Shona Robison when announcing publication of a draft licensing order. It is planned to lay proposed legislation before the Scottish Parliament in September.
‘Regulation of short term lets is vital if we are to balance the needs and concerns of our communities with wider economic and tourism interests’, said Robinson. ‘Short term lets can offer people a flexible and cheaper travel option and have contributed positively to our tourism industry and local economies across the country.
‘However, we know that in certain areas, particularly tourist hot spots, high numbers of short term lets can cause problems for neighbours and make it harder for people to find homes to live in.
‘By allowing local authorities appropriate regulatory powers through a licensing scheme, we can ensure that short term lets are safe and address issues faced by local residents and communities.
‘It will allow local authorities to understand more fully what is happening in their areas and assist with the effective handling of complaints’.
Under the proposed legislation, local authorities will have until 1 October 2022 to establish a licensing scheme, with all short term lets to be licensed by 1 April 2024. Existing hosts and operators must apply for a licence by 1 April 2023.
The Scottish Government previously withdrew the Licensing Order from the Scottish Parliament in February. This was to allow for draft guidance to be developed with input from the stakeholder working group.
‘Stakeholder working group members have helpfully made a range of suggestions for adjustments to the Licensing Order, as well as providing very significant contributions to drafting the guidance’, said Robinson.