Scottish MSPs Consider Plans for Licensing Scheme for Airbnb-Style Short-Term Lets

By PA
PA
PA
September 27, 2021 Updated: September 27, 2021

Plans for owners of Airbnb and short-term let properties in Scotland to require a licence will be examined by a Holyrood committee.

The proposed licensing scheme would impose regulations in a bid to tackle the growth of Airbnb-style rentals in popular tourist areas such as Edinburgh.

Under the Scottish government plans, councils will have until October 2022 to set up a licensing scheme, with all short-term lets licensed by April 2024.

Existing hosts and operators would have to apply for a licence by April 2023 under the proposed legislation.

Ministers had originally hoped to introduce the new law before May’s Holyrood election but pushed the plans back following backlash from some MSPs.

The Scottish Parliament’s Local Government, Housing, and Planning Committee will now consider the proposed legislation and is asking the public to give their views on the issue.

Ariane Burgess
Ariane Burgess MSP Green during the new MSPs’ first meet with the Presiding Officer Ken Macintosh after the Scottish Parliamentary Elections, in Holyrood, Edinburgh, on May 12, 2021. (Fraser Bremner/Scottish Daily Mail/PA)

Committee convener Ariane Burgess said: “The increase in popularity of short-term lets has no doubt brought economic benefits to Scotland.

“However, what is becoming increasingly clear is that these benefits must be balanced with the need to protect our communities and the safety of those staying in short-term lets.

“The Scottish government has suggested that this proposed licensing scheme strikes that balance, but we want to know whether you think these measures have got this right.

“Will the introduction of a licensing system ensure that the character of our neighbourhoods are protected as well as protecting those staying in short-term lets? We want you to let us know.”

A survey, that will run until Friday Oct. 29, has been launched for people to submit their views.

By Tom Eden

PA