Log in

Forward Together: A Collaborative Approach to Short-Term Letting

The ASSC is delighted to have launched a policy proposal paper: Forward Together: A Collaborative Approach to Short-Term Letting. This has now been given a Covid-19 overlay (August 2020).

Contrary to the current media narrative, short-term lets are not a new phenomenon. Given that the ASSC has acted as the trusted voice of the self-catering sector for over forty years, we are well aware that short-term lets have always formed a crucial supportive part of Scotland’s rich tourism offering.

The self-catering sector brings around £723m of economic activity to Scotland each year. With such figures in mind, it is little wonder that the Scottish Government have welcomed the economic benefits of our sector, as well as the development of new models of short-term letting to Scotland.

Building on previous policy recommendations and engagement with the Scottish Government, the ASSC set out a series of solutions to the main issues identified in the consultation process and which can assist the Scottish Government as they take forward the details of the scheme and help inform the regulations.

This paper seeks to support the Scottish Government’s commitment to regulate the short-term rental sector in Scotland. Overall, it aims to:

  • Ensure the responsible growth and sustainability of the self-catering industry
  • Strike an appropriate balance for the tourist economy, visitors and local residents
  • Provide a proportionate, evidence-based and future proofed solution for national and local government
  • Provide consumer protection for visitors using short-term lets in Scotland.

Everyone that works in the short-term let industry supports health and safety for all guests. Of course they do! Commercial operators have worked within a pre-existing legislative framework for decades. We have specific legislation in place concerning fire and other safety regulations. We also have specific legislation in place for anti-social behaviour.

The ASSC is delighted to be working in collaboration with NoiseAware and Quality in Tourism to deliver robust initiatives to respond to problems highlighted by local communities in Scotland, and to extend existing legislation to all operators in the sector.

If adopted, it would address several of the concerns that have been raised about short-term lets by balancing the rights and interest of local communities with those of the short-term letting industry.

Covid-19 underlines the need for regulation of the short-term lets and the ASSC intend to replicate the responsible and industry-leading approach taken with sectoral reopening to the issue of regulation overall.

The ASSC developed a comprehensive and robust set of policy recommendations that was shared with the Scottish Government back in January 2020. These policy recommendations on licensing and planning control areas provide a proportionate, evidence-based and future-proofed solution for national and local government in Scotland.

Furthermore, due to Covid-19, this takes on even more relevance due to the economic con- sequences for cash-strapped local authorities – who will have to take on the burden of licensing – and the impact any disproportionate system could have on the recovery of the Scottish tourism. The ASSC therefore wish to work with policymakers to make the regulations work for communities and the tourism industry.

It is the aspiration of the Scottish Government to lay the regulations in December 2020 in order that they can become law by Spring 2021; and prior to that, there will be a short period of stakeholder engagement commencing in Autumn 2020.

This engagement provides an opportunity to properly assess and refine the detail of the regulations to ensure that there is an appropriate balance between the needs of local communities and Scotland’s important tourist economy.

Read the paper: 2020_ForwardTogether

In addition, the ASSC has published a policy paper (August 2020) looking at the pros and cons of registration and licensing. Licensing or Registration.

Get the latest from the sector

Stay up to date with our self-catering newsletter

Contact us


07379 257749

Follow us

Terms and Conditions | Privacy Policy