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Self-Catering in Scotland in 2023: Uncertainty & Doubt in an Age of Over-Legislation – Monday, 20th March 2023

Self-Catering in Scotland in 2023: Uncertainty & Doubt in an Age of Over-Legislation – Monday, 20th March 2023

Fiona Campbell, Chief Executive of the Association of Scotland’s Self-Caterers) together with Joanna Millar, Legal Director, Gilson Gray LLP  provided an update on the legislation across Scotland and specifically how self-catering property owners in Edinburgh will be affected.

They were joined by members of Edinburgh’s Judicial Review team, who have brought an action challenging The City of Edinburgh Council’s STL Licence scheme.

Together, they explained:-

  • How self-caterers and supporting business across Scotland will be impacted by the current legislation.
  • Why Edinburgh’s Judicial Review is critical for Scotland’s self-catering industry and the difference it is making.
  • How you can get involved to support the crucial Judicial Review fundraising campaign.

Current position:   The Scottish Government has delayed licensing requirements for existing operators only, for six months, creating a new deadline to apply by 1st October 2023.

The Judicial Review:   The aim of the Judicial Review is to influence policy and guidance, so that quality operators with a track record of good practice will be able to gain licenses with a scheme that is fair, fit for purpose, safeguards the self-catering industry, and is focused on the health and safety of our guests.

Attendees have the opportunity to contribute to the Judicial Review Crowd Justice campaign.

  • Craig Douglas, Managing Director, Reserve Apartments Craig sold a web based caravanning business in 2007 whilst excluded from the industry he turned his attention to self catering. So Reserve Apartments and Bookster was formed. Craig now runs Reserve Apartments and is an active shareholder within Bookster. In 2019 and 2020 Craig acquired Coast Properties and Lettings of distinction respectively. These both companies operate in East Lothian. Craig and his wife  also own a small portfolio of properties, some of which are holiday lets.  Craig divides his time between Edinburgh and East Lothian.
  • Iain Muirhead, Business owner / Property investor, Chartered Accountant, Edinburgh Iain is a Chartered Accountant with previously 15 years experience at KPMG, working between the UK and Australia. Iain now runs a retail and a property investment company that focuses on the short term letting market in Edinburgh.
  • Louise Dickins, Managing Director, Dickins Edinburgh Ltd – Louise created her business Dickins in 1998. Initially she let homes for the Edinburgh Festival and then she expanded to offering short lets all year round. One of Dickins specialities is mid term rentals of one month plus. Louise has been a leading voice around the issues and impacts of licensing legislation for the sector and has written several important blogs on the subject. Louise is a Director of the ASSC and sit on the ETAG working group.
  • Fiona Campbell was appointed as the Association of Scotland’s Self-Caterers (ASSC) first Chief Executive in February 2015. Over the past 7 years, she has worked with key industry stakeholders delivering advocacy and lobbying to support the traditional self-catering sector. She has been at the table throughout the short-term let regulatory process, working tirelessly with Scottish Government officials, Cabinet Ministers, cross party MSPs, the Regulatory Review Group and tourism stakeholders to challenge the proposals. Navigating the STL regulations, the ASSC provided considered, future-proofed and proportionate solutions for national and local government.
  • Joanna Millar is a Legal Director with Gilson Gray LLP. Joanna is qualified over 25 years and during that time has specialised in Licensing and Corporate law. Prior to joining Gilson Gray in November 2019, Joanna ran her own firm. Her team moved as a whole to Gilson Gray but this background allows her to understand first-hand the challenges which face owner operated and small/medium sized businesses. Joanna has been involved in licensing at ground level throughout her career and has now been involved through the ASSC and her membership of the Law Society of Scotland in discussions about the proposed licensing regime for short lets affecting all self-catering accommodation providers. Joanna is well placed to advise clients on all aspects of their business from the licensing process, business structure, supplier contracts and terms and conditions.

For more information please contact SaveSCinScotland@gmail.com

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