The ASSC has written to the Local Government, Housing and Planning Committee in response to the Minister for Housing’s letter to the Convener of 30 January 2024 providing an implementation update for short-term let licensing.
We raise substantive points about the Minister’s letter which we believe deserves the attention of Committee but also wider consideration for all those with a stake in the continued success of our vital tourism industry.
Local authorities in Scotland have the tools at their disposal to regulate short-term lets – however, in order for this to be truly effective, we must overcome the remaining challenges that the ASSC has repeatedly tried to articulate to the Scottish Government. Neither the proposed SSI nor the forthcoming comprehensive update on implementation will do that. Instead, legislation should be amended to clarify the relationship between planning and licensing, and guidance should be amended on the subject. This will significantly ameliorate the scheme.
This is not about scrapping licensing, or undoing the robust regulatory framework overall, but ensuring it works. The ASSC also wishes to make it abundantly clear that our industry wants to be regulated, and recommended regulations as far back as 2019. As a membership organisation, it is incumbent upon us to stand up for and represent the thousands of businesses who work tirelessly to make Scotland such a welcoming place for both domestic and international visitors.