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Question in Parliament: Short-term Lets (Regulation of Private Residential Property Use)

Daniel Johnson (Edinburgh Southern) (Lab) asked the Scottish Government what plans it has to regulate the use of private residential property for short-term lets.

The Minister for Local Government, Housing and Planning (Kevin Stewart): “The Scottish Government is committed to working with local authorities, communities and business interests to ensure that local authorities have the appropriate regulatory powers to balance the needs and concerns of their communities with wider economic and tourism interests. Our consultation on the regulation of short-term lets closed on 23 July, having attracted more than 1,000 responses. We are considering those responses and we will announce our plans later this year.”

Daniel Johnson: “I note the consultation over the summer, but the only mention of the issue in the programme for government is the setting up of a working group. Does the minister agree with what Kate Campbell, the Scottish National Party convener of the City of Edinburgh Council’s housing andeconomy committee, said about short-term lets? She said: “We are absolutely clear that we need alicensing regime because it would mean that we can set local policies that address the particularchallenges we face in Edinburgh”. Surely, it is right that we regulate the commercial use of residential property.”

Kevin Stewart: “As I indicated in my initial answer, we received more than 1,000 responses to the consultation, which we will need to analyse very carefully before we decide how to move forward. We will need to take cognisance of different circumstances in different parts of the country.

“As well as the analysis that is under way, the Government has commissioned research to explore the positive and negative impacts of short-term lets on communities, with a focus on neighbourhoods and housing. The research involves looking at short-term let hosts, residents, local businesses and community actors across five places in Scotland: Edinburgh, the East Neuk of Fife, Fort William, Glasgow and Skye. The report on that research will be published before the end of the year.

“We must get our response right. We must listen to all. We should not move forward rashly without taking cognisance of all the responses that we have received.”

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