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Clampdown on lettings

Councils given extra year to apply Airbnb controls

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Restrictions on Airbnb-style short term lettings will come into force next year, although local councils will be given up to a year to implement the new system.

The Scottish Government said today that a scheme to control the spread of short-term lets could be introduced by the spring of 2021. A consultation will gather final views.

The proposals include a mandatory licensing scheme to ensure that all short-term lets are safe and to address issues faced by neighbours.

The regulations, if passed by Parliament, would come into force by April 2021. These would also give councils powers to manage pressures created by the use of whole properties as short-term lets. It later emerged that councils may be able to defer instigating the system until April 2022.

Housing Minister Kevin Stewart said: “Short-term lets can offer people a flexible and affordable accommodation option, and they have contributed positively to Scotland’s tourism industry and local economies across the country.

“However, we know that in certain areas, particularly tourist hot spots, high numbers of these arrangements can cause problems for neighbours and make it harder for people to find homes to live in.

“The views and evidence from our previous consultation and research showed broad consensus for some form of regulation. Our proposals will allow local authorities and communities facing the most severe pressures to take action to manage those more effectively from next year. 

“I believe our proposals for a licensing scheme and short-term let control areas are evidence-based and right for Scottish circumstances.

“We will be engaging with stakeholders on our detailed proposals over the next four weeks. I am confident that our proposals will allow local authorities to ensure a safe, quality experience for visitors, whilst protecting the interests of local communities.”

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