The Scottish Government is set to finalise proposed controls on short term lets following two recent consultations on these proposals, the last of which involved a short consultation period owing to constraints of COVID.

The controls are designed in part to relieve pressures on housing stock in areas such as Edinburgh where more housing stock has recently been available for short term lets than for traditional private rented homes.

Short-term lets are defined to include lets for sleeping but subject to numerous exclusions including employee accommodation, guest houses, boarding houses and hostels.

The Regulations will, if approved, come into force on 1 April 2021.  Local authorities will have a further year from then to set up a licensing scheme for such lettings and existing hosts will have until 1 April 2023 to apply for a licence.

There will be some mandatory licensing conditions to apply throughout Scotland, especially with respect to safety (particularly gas, fires and electrical equipment).

The draft regulations, the Town and Country Planning (Short-term Let Control Areas) (Scotland) Regulations 2021 and the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 (Licensing of Short-term Lets) Order 2021 are to be reviewed imminently by the Scottish Parliament. 

The Local Government and Communities Committee has invited views by 22 January 2021 on 3 aspects of the regulations (i) whether the proposed changes strike the correct balance between protecting the long-term sustainability of local communities and promoting tourism and strong local economies (ii) whether short terms lets are clearly and correctly defined and (iii) if local authorities have adequate resources, powers and expertise to make a success of the proposed new regime – see https://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/CurrentCommittees/116756.aspx

Views can be e-mailed to LocalGovernmentandCommunities@parliament.scot by Friday 22 January 2021

We will report in more detail once the Regulations are finalised.