The new rules governing short term lets of residential property will be laid at the Scottish Parliament this week, but the new scheme will not apply to existing landlords until April 2023, the Scottish Government has confirmed.
Under the revised timetable for controls on Airbnb-style lets, the licensing scheme if approved by the Parliament will come into force on 1 April 2021, but local authorities will have until 1 April 2022 to establish a scheme in their area and open it for applications, with existing hosts having until 1 April 2023 to apply.
A report into the consultation on the proposals, which received more than 1,000 responses, has been published today.
Ministers said they were responding to representations over the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in extending the time for the scheme to come fully into effect, though some proponents of the scheme have voiced concern at the delay.
Housing Minister Kevin Stewart commented: "Residents have expressed concern about the impact of short term lets in their communities, including noise, nuisance, antisocial behaviour and a loss of residential housing stock. Our proposals to regulate short term lets will ensure these properties adhere to a common set of safety standards to protect guests and neighbours. Many responsible hosts will already be following these safety standards – our proposals will help to ensure that all comply.
"However, we have also listened closely to the representations made by business and tourism stakeholders. We are acutely aware of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on this sector right now. A large number of comments in the consultation centred on whether to proceed with regulation at this time or to delay it. We have amended our proposals to ensure that existing hosts have more than two years to prepare."