Regulation of short-term lets

Consultation on licensing plans.

A consultation will gather final views on proposed new legislation for the regulation of short-term lets.

The Scottish Government’s 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.

Welcoming the launch of the consultation, 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.”


Read the consultation paper on the Scottish Government website.

The consultation runs until Friday 16 October.

In April 2019, the Scottish Government’s first consultation set out its understanding of the benefits of and issues around short-term lets, the principles that would help to guide its approach, and some proposed approaches to regulation. Consultation events were held throughout Scotland with residents, guests, hosts, platforms, businesses and local authorities. 

The Government also commissioned research to explore the impact of short-term lets on communities and neighbourhoods in five different areas across the country.


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