Short-term lets

Consultation responses back regulation.

A consultation on short-term lets found wide support for regulation, according to independent analysis published today.

More than 1,000 responses from communities, landlords and businesses raised a number of concerns about the effects of short-term lets, including anti-social behaviour, safety fears and the impact on the housing market.

The Scottish Government is considering the analysis of responses to the consultation, which also highlighted the economic benefits brought by short-term lets, and will the evidence to inform policy proposals to be announced later this year.

There is also an understanding that issues vary across the country, with different problems in most rural settings compared to places like Edinburgh, where there is the highest concentration of short-term lets.

These findings are confirmed by the conclusions of independent research on the impact of short-term lets on communities, also published today.

Housing Minister Kevin Stewart said:

“Short-term lets can offer people a flexible and cheaper travel option, and 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 short-term lets are causing problems and often making it harder for people to find homes to live in.

“The responses to our consultation confirm support for new controls over short-term letting of residential properties in these problem areas.

“We will carefully consider the evidence before setting out our proposals later this year. In the meantime we will continue to work with local authorities to support them to balance the unique needs of their communities with wider economic and tourism interests.”


There is currently no statutory definition of what constitutes a short-term let, such as Airbnb, in Scotland. For a short-term let to take place, a host offers accommodation to one or more guests. Where a property is available for let for 140 days or more in the financial year, it is classified as self-catering holiday accommodation, exempt from Council Tax, and becomes instead liable for non-domestic rates.

The consultation on the regulation of short-term lets ran from 28 April to 23 July 2019, and received more than 1,000 responses from residents, landlords, businesses, local authorities and other organisations. An independent analysis of the responses was commissioned from Why Research.

Read the consultation responses and independent analysis

Read the research on ‘the impact of short-term lets on communities across Scotland’


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