08 February 2022
Rural Scottish businesses are set to bear the brunt of the consequences of the Scottish Government’s new short-term let legislation.
Landlords of all short-term let properties will be required to have licences as part of the Scottish Government’s plan to tackle the growth of rental properties on platforms such as Airbnb.
The new regulations will ensure that all properties are safe, meet health and safety requirements and that landlords are suitable. Housing Secretary, Shona Robinson, commented “when this work started in 2018 it was in response to the significant concerns of residents and communities across Scotland…about the impact that short term lets were having on their areas, including on local housing supply, noise and antisocial behaviour”.
Short-term let businesses have between now and April 2022 to be registered as an existing business, with existing hosts required to apply for a license by April 2023, and the final deadline for all hosts and operators to have a license by 1 July 2024. If you are considering this type of business venture, it may be worthwhile taking swift action to become registered as an existing business.
Local councils across Scotland will be required to devise their own licensing system for properties by October 2022. Under the Scottish Government’s plans, licensing fees are uncapped, leaving it up to individual councils to set their own rates.
There have been numerous concerns about these new regulations on the already fragile tourism sector following the pandemic.
Scottish Land and Estates’ policy adviser, Simon Ovenden, has expressed his disappointment and concern, “while we understand the need for action in some localised situations, we have warned of the dangers of a one size fits all approach.”
“This urban-focused licensing order being imposed on rural Scotland, with evidence suggesting that the excessive bureaucracy and spiralling costs could now lead to many businesses closing with a knock-on impact to the local communities they serve.”
With the pressures that rural tourism businesses have faced during the pandemic, the changes are sure to be a hit.
For further updates regarding the new short-term let legislations keep an eye on our website and social media.