“However, we warned at the time they were only kicking the decision into the long grass. They have now brought back these misguided proposals and snuck them out after parliament has broken up for the summer recess.”

He added: “They are clearly trying to avoid proper scrutiny on this issue. SNP ministers must fully engage with the industry in the coming weeks and listen to their serious concerns.

“The Scottish Conservatives are committed to standing with the sector to stand against these proposals, which are unworkable in their current format.”

The third round of consultation will run until August 13.

Under the proposed legislation, councils will now have until October 1, 2022, instead of the original April 2022 date, to establish a licensing scheme, with all short-term lets to be licensed by April 1, 2024.

Existing hosts and operators must apply for a licence by April 1, 2023.

Social Justice Secretary Shona Robison said: “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.

“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 hotspots, 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.”