Consultation on the revised licensing scheme for short term lets has been opened by the Scottish Government.
Ministers withdrew an earlier proposed order to implement the scheme, which aims to control the number of short term lets in tourism hotspots such as Edinburgh, from the Scottish Parliament in February. This was in order to address concerns raised and to allow for draft guidance to be developed with input from the stakeholder working group.
The revised draft order implementing the scheme is published along with draft guidance documents for hosts and operators, and for licensing authorities, to explain how the legislation would work in practice.
It is now proposed that local authorities will have until 1 October 2022 to establish a licensing scheme, with all short-term lets to be licensed by the previous deadline of 1 April 2024. Existing hosts and operators must apply for a licence by 1 April 2023.
Shona Robison, Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice, Housing and Local Government, commented: "Regulation of short term lets is vital if we are to balance the needs and concerns of our communities with wider economic and tourism interests.
"Short term lets can offer people a flexible and cheaper travel option and have contributed positively to our 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 can cause problems for neighbours and make it harder for people to find homes to live in."
She added: "We want to get this legislation absolutely right. A stakeholder working group was established earlier this year to develop guidance on the licensing scheme that was clear, comprehensive and easy to understand.
"As part of this, the Scottish Government also set out to allay any unfounded concerns and actively explore solutions to any real issues, with a view to making any necessary adjustments to the Licensing Order.
"Stakeholder working group members have helpfully made a range of suggestions for adjustments to the Licensing Order, as well as providing very significant contributions to drafting the guidance."
Click here to access the consultation. Responses are due by 13 August 2021.