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30/10/2019

Scottish Government Short-Term Lets Consultation – Latest Developments

Further to their consultation on establishing a regulatory framework for short-term lets in Scotland, the Scottish Government have published the independent analysis of responses to their consultation.

You can access the report here.

Overall, a majority of respondents supported regulation for short-term lets in some form. Views were mixed as to whether there should be registration or licensing for short-term lets, although there was an element of support for both elements to be introduced, with some support for a mandatory rather than a voluntary scheme. There was little support for a market-based mechanism. While there was support for regulation, there was also an awareness that there were different issues facing different parts of the country, for example, between urban areas like Edinburgh and more rural areas.

However, this analysis should not be viewed as indicative of the Scottish Government’s stance on any particular policy. They will use the analysis paper to inform their own position and will set this out in due course.

Responding to the publication, the Minister for Local Government, Housing and Planning Kevin Stewart MSP recognised the benefits of short-term lets to the Scottish tourist economy but also the need to be responsive to local communities:

“Short-term lets can offer people a flexible and cheaper travel option, and have contributed positively to Scotland’s tourism industry and local economies across the country. However, we know that in certain areas, particularly tourist hot spots, high numbers of short-term lets are causing problems and often making it harder for people to find homes to live in.”

“The responses to our consultation confirm support for new controls over short-term letting of residential properties in these problem areas. We will carefully consider the evidence before setting out our proposals later this year. In the meantime we will continue to work with local authorities to support them to balance the unique needs of their communities with wider economic and tourism interests

In addition, the research led by Indigo House into the impact of short-term lets on communities was also released. This had a particular focus on neighbourhoods and housing and looked at five case study areas which spanned urban and rural locations (City of Edinburgh, Glasgow City Centre, East Neuk of Fife, Fort William and Skye). A summary outlining the key findings from their researchers can be accessed here.

The ASSC will continue to keep you updated on the next steps as the Scottish Government take forward their plans to regulate short-term lets.

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