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Short Term Lets – Potential Human Rights Violation (Protocol 1, Article 1)

The proposed “control areas” provisions of the proposed legislation could constitute a violation of your fundamental human rights to enjoy and use your property.

An ASSC member has written to the Scottish Human Rights Commission asking them to hold the government to account.

Failure to offer any compensation where the new policy closes your business is not a fair balance of interests and, therefore, is seemingly contrary to the Human Rights Act 1998.

The more people who make the SHRC aware of this violation the better.


Short Term Lets – potential Human Rights violation (Protocol 1, Article 1)

Dear Madam or Sir

The Scottish Government plans legislation to restrict, regulate and potentially close short term let businesses.

We would be enormously grateful for any steps you can take to ensure that the Scottish Government and Parliament do not enact powers to allow local authorities to bring in measures that unlawfully infringe our right to run our property as a holiday let. The planned legislation could introduce ‘control areas’ where thousands of existing, legal businesses could be closed down through use of the planning process.

If introduced, any measures made under the powers to establish ‘control areas’ would materially impact our ability to use our own property to generate essential pension income and also – crucially – undermine the entire livelihood of our cleaner and property manager. There is no mention of compensation for closing these businesses: an omission which represents a fundamentally unfair balance of rights. Far more proportionate measures than closure of viable and legal businesses (and, by necessary extension, the businesses that support them) to achieve the vague public interest objectives (so far as we understand them, stopping anti-social behaviour by guests and creating more housing for primary residences) are available to the Government.

There are, literally, thousands of small businesses throughout Scotland who are in a similar position and who would be devastated by the creation of control areas.

We are dreadfully worried that genuine concerns about the violation of fundamental rights (in our case, to have an income in retirement and, in that of our cleaner / property manager, to have any income at all from her current business) will be brushed aside. We believe that this is an unlawful infringement of a very fundamental human right, as contained in Article 1 of Protocol 1 of the ECHR.

It is astonishing and deeply concerning that an ancient democracy such as ours should be contemplating these disproportionate and potentially illegal measures.

We sincerely hope that you will be able to pick up this urgent matter with the Scottish Government on behalf of ourselves and the thousands of other individuals in a similar situation before the matter proceeds to the Scottish Parliament in December.

Yours faithfully,

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