“At a time of huge economic uncertainty, these proposals will mean less income for individuals and local businesses, and higher prices for the tourists and visitors, from which Scotland has benefited from in the past, and will rely on in future.
“Under these proposals, Scotland would have one of the most regressive regulatory regimes for short-term lets worldwide. The proposed system is complex, clunky and costly, falling short of addressing the strategic priorities set out by the Government around key concerns, including affordable housing shortages. Instead, over-reaching proposals mean a host letting their spare bedroom for just one day a year faces a more stringent licensing system than any faced by a landlord in the long-term rental market who has tenants all year round, defying any sense of proportionality.
“Introducing restrictive regulation will not incentivise individuals to put their property on the long-term rental market. The vast majority (84 percent) of host accounts in Scotland have one listing on the platform, and a typical listing is booked for 49 nights of the year. Over half (51 percent) of surveyed hosts in Scotland said they would no longer advertise their space on Airbnb, and would not put it on the long-term rental market, if a licensing system of this nature were introduced2 .
“We must remember that only a small minority of people cause problems. The focus should be on holding them accountable, while allowing everyone else to benefit from Scotland’s vibrant tourism economy. As such, the Scottish Government’s proposals will be a major, and lasting, barrier to the recovery of the tourism sector.”