Despite the volume of correspondence questioning the timing of the regulations due to the impact of Covid-19, not to mention the concerns from local authorities about the pressures they will face from a financial and resourcing perspective, the Scottish Government will take forward their regulations to introduce a licensing scheme and control areas.
The Scottish Government therefore laid the regulations, known as draft Scottish Statutory Instruments (SSIs), before parliament this week – the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 (Licensing of Short-term Lets) Order 2021 and the Town and Country Planning (Short-term Let Control Areas) (Scotland) Regulations 2021.
In terms of the next steps in parliament, the Delegated Powers and Law Reform Committee will review these SSIs for any technical or drafting issues and then the Local Government and Communities Committee will scrutinise them from a policy perspective. The Local Government Committee have today issued a call for evidence on the regulations, open until 22 January 2021, which asks the following questions of affected stakeholders:
These SSIs are not amendable and MSPs can only vote to accept or reject them. If the Scottish Parliament approves the SSIs, they will come into force on 1 April 2021. Local councils will have until 1 April 2022 to establish a licensing scheme and existing ‘hosts’/operators will have until 1 April 2023 to apply for a licence.
The Association of Scotland’s Self-Caterers has a number of concerns about the draft SSIs and will continue to make representations on your behalf to both the Scottish Government, the Short-Term Let Delivery Group as well as the parliamentary committees, and we will keep you updated with relevant developments.
The ASSC submitted the following evidence to the Committee following the publication of the BRIA on 10th December:
We are yet to comment on the SSIs themselves.