Foreword by Kevin Stewart MSP, Minister for Local Government, Housing and Planning
I am pleased to present the Scottish Government’s detailed proposals for the regulation of short-term lets in Scotland.
I believe our proposals for a licensing scheme and short-term let control areas set out in this paper are evidence-based and right for Scottish circumstances. We have worked quickly to develop detailed proposals and now we are using the powers that we have in the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 and the Planning (Scotland) Act 2019 to put in place a regulatory framework during this Parliament.
In April 2019, our first consultation set out our understanding of the benefits of and issues around short-term lets, the principles that would help to guide our approach, and some proposed approaches to regulation. We held consultation events throughout Scotland with residents, guests, hosts, platforms, businesses and local authorities. I heard first-hand about the benefits of, and the many issues around, short-term letting, and we received more than 1,000 consultation responses.
We also commissioned research to explore the impact of short-term lets on communities and neighbourhoods in five very different areas across our country.
The views and evidence from our consultation and research showed broad consensus for some form of regulation. I want to act now in order to allow local authorities and communities that face the most severe pressures to manage those more effectively.
The proposals for secondary legislation in this paper allow us to make progress in this Parliament to address a pressing issue for some of our communities, but they will not unduly curtail the many benefits of short-term lets to hosts, visitors and the Scottish economy. We will monitor and evaluate the impact of our proposals to ensure that they are effective and targeted. I am willing to bring a Bill before Parliament in the next session if we continue to see issues; to do so now would result in unnecessary delay.
I believe the proposals in this paper take a robust but proportionate and fair approach to the regulation of short-term lets.