Technical moves

Licence transfers among short-term lets changes

Hosts have been offered concessions under the new rules (pic: Terry Murden)

MSPs have backed a range of “technical” updates to the short-term lets licensing scheme which include the ability to transfer a licence to a new host when accommodation is sold.

Licensing was introduced in 2022 to provide assurance to guests on safety and quality, such as gas and electrical safety compliance and the suitability of hosts.

Parliament enabled prospective hosts building a new short-term let to apply for a provisional licence before construction is complete and can apply for a maximum of three licence exemptions totalling six weeks in a calendar year. There are also technical clarifications to exclude foster care and guest rooms in certain residential accommodation from licensing requirements.

Minister for Housing Paul McLennan said: “Short-term let accommodation is vital to Scotland’s tourism sector and wider economy.

“The short-term lets licensing scheme aims to protect the reputation of responsible operators and ensure the sector is regulated in line with other accommodation such as hotels and caravan parks, giving guests assurance of consistent safety standards.

“The technical updates to the scheme passed by Parliament were introduced in response to engagement with short-term let operators and the wider tourism industry.

“This will ensure the scheme continues to deliver quality and safety assurance for guests, whilst protecting the needs of local communities.”

CEO of the UK Short Term Accommodation Association Andy Fenner said: “Scotland’s holiday let industry brings in revenue for all kinds of businesses in communities not served by traditional hospitality, and makes the country an attractive destination for the millions of overseas visitors that come every year.

“Improvements, such as the ability to transfer licences and greater flexibility around temporary exemptions should assist in providing more certainty to those who rely on income from tourism.

“We have been working with the Scottish Government on these changes over the past year and appreciate its collaborative and pragmatic approach to addressing feedback.

“We are encouraged by the Government’s commitment to addressing other issues related to the scheme and look forward to working together on identifying further improvements which will boost the competitiveness of our sector in Scotland.”

Short-term lets regulations | Scottish Parliament Website

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