Over seven weeks, a consultation will be held on details of a licensing program for short-term lets.

Social Justice SecretaryShona RobisonThe publication of a draft licensing ordinance for consultation has been announced by the Scottish Parliament, ahead of the September laying of the final legislation.

The licensing order, the draft business and regulatory impact assessments, and the comments from stakeholders will be available until August 13th.

To explain the practical application of the legislation, draft guidance documents were also published.

Ms. Robison stated that regulation of short-term lets was vital in order to balance the interests of communities and wider economic and tourist interests.

“Short-term rentals can be a great way to travel and are a good option for people who want to save money. They also contribute positively to the local economy and tourism industry.

“But, we also know that short-term rentals can be a problem in tourist areas and make it difficult for residents to find housing.

“By giving local authorities the appropriate regulatory powers through a licensing program, we can ensure that short-term lets are safe and address local issues.

“It will enable local authorities to better understand what’s happening in their area and help with complaints handling.”

The proposed legislation will allow local authorities to create a licensing program by October 2022. All short-term lets must be licensed by April 2024. Operators and hosts must apply for a license by 1 April 2023.

TheScottish governmentPreviously, the licensing order was withdrawn fromScottish ParliamentIn February. This was done to enable draft guidance to be created with input from the stakeholder group.

Ms. Robison said, “We want this legislation to be perfect. An earlier in the year, a stakeholder group was formed to create clear, complete and simple guidance for licensing schemes.

“The Scottish government set out to address any unfounded concerns, actively seek solutions to real problems, and to make any necessary adjustments to Licensing Order.

“Stakeholder Working Group members have offered a variety of suggestions for changes to the Licensing Order and made significant contributions to the drafting of the guidance.”

The consultation will be held from Friday 25 June through Friday 13 August 2021.