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Scottish government pushes ahead with regulation of short-term lets

27 July 2020 by

Proposals to roll-out a licencing scheme for short-term lets have been resumed by Scottish housing minister Kevin Stewart.

The housing minister has written to James Dornan MSP setting out his licencing scheme proposals regarding short-term lets, having paused rolling-out the measures he announced in January due to the pandemic. If passed they will give powers to local councils to regulate the sector.

The letter, seen by The Caterer, sets out the original proposals under the Civil Government (Scotland) Act, which could see powers granted by spring 2021.

The proposals also urge a review of the tax treatment of short-term lets, to ensure they make an appropriate contribution to local communities and support local services.

The letter reads: "We aim to lay the regulations giving local authorities powers to license short-term lets and introduce control areas in December so that they can be in force by spring 2021. As part of preparation to do this, we will be engaging stakeholders on our detailed proposals in autumn."

The letter goes on to say that the delay caused by the pandemic "necessitates that this will be a shorter period of engagement than originally planned".

The housing minister had originally announced the proposed new measures in January, following the publication in October of independent analysis on short-term lets from over 1,000 landlords and businesses which revealed wide support for regulation.

The proposals to bring in "long-overdue registration" and powers to control the "massive and uncompetitive growth in largely unregulated short-term letting" were welcomed by UKHospitality whose executive director for Scotland, Willie Macleod, said that many businesses had an unfair advantage compared to hotels and other accommodation businesses.

Image: Shutterstock

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