I wish to add my support to the attached letter from ASSC.
The Edinburgh judicial review highlights the problem with 32 local authorities introducing their own schemes because when various aspects of any one of them is shown to be unlawful, the other 31 all need to review their policies to ensure they’re not similarly unlawful.
It is now 3 months until the deadline for the operators of existing short term lets to apply. We’ve concerns, for example:
All of this creates uncertainty for local authorities, operators and visitors and causes damage to the tourism sector as a whole. Some operators of short term let businesses are blocking out their calendars from 1 October 2023 onwards because they realise that at any point from then they could be refused a licence and no longer be able to operate.
The numbers suggest that most operators haven’t yet applied because of the uncertainty. With the judicial review judgement that uncertainty has multiplied and crystalised into unlawfulness. Legislation needs to be as certain as possible and legislating for 32 different schemes has led to anything but certainty.
To give an idea of some of the problems with individual schemes across Scotland, some comments from those who list their short term let with Sykes:
“Application forms were unfit for purpose, several mistakes drawn to attention, our application went in on first day scheme opened and still no determination”
“Complex, bureaucratic, time-consuming. Licensing and Valuation departments don’t talk to each other – duplication of information required. Hammer to crack a nut.”
“It would be useful if there was more help with the site plan and floor plan and what is specifically required regarding this. I did phone the Council and asked what the site plan was and was told to google it! You also have to submit the application in one go, it cannot be saved which is very frustrating. The whole form is badly thought out and OTT.”
“I have already been given my licence. The application was significantly difficult and – eg – my plans of the house were returned with a request for more detail (so they had been carefully examined). On the other hand, there were two separate occasions when I was asked for something I had already submitted (and could quote chapter and verse) – it seemed there were different departments dealing with different aspects of the application and their internal communication wasn’t of the best.”
We hope to hear further in relation to the above and the attached letter from ASSC.
Sykes Holiday Cottages”