This engagement provides an opportunity to properly assess and refine the detail of the proposed short-term let regulations to ensure that there is an appropriate balance between the needs of local communities and Scotland’s important tourist economy.
We believe that a licensing system is a blunt tool to fix a perceived and localised problem of amateur operators in Edinburgh, rather than being a solution that is appropriate for the whole of the Scotland, nor is it one that makes a necessary distinction between different types of visitor accommodation providers.
The ASSC remains concerned that little differentiation is made between different types of operator in what is a diverse short-term letting landscape, with potentially dire unintended consequences to the professional self-catering sector that contributes £723m to Scotland.
The ASSC also believe that, due to the impact of Covid-19, the potential pitfalls and shortcomings of licensing come into sharper focus in two main respects: (a) the impact for resource stretched local authorities having to deal with an influx of tens of thousands of licensing applications; and (b) the impact any disproportionate licensing system could have on the recovery of Scottish tourism.
The ASSC have already developed a comprehensive and robust set of policy recommendations, as set out in our Forward Together paper, which should be read in conjunction with this document. This provides a proportionate, evidence-based and future-proofed solution for national and local government in Scotland in terms of short-term regulation. Read the paper: 2020_ForwardTogether.
Overall, the ASSC wish to work with policymakers to make the regulations work for communities and the tourism industry, recognising the Scottish Government’s strength of intent to regulate, but also to ensure that anything taken forward is not disproportionate and which would threaten the fragile recovery of Scottish tourism in these challenging times.
Read the Licensing or Registration Policy Paper.