Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 (Licensing of Short-term Lets) (Amendment) Order 2024: business and regulatory impact assessment

Business and regulatory impact assessment for the 2024 Amendment Order providing a technical update to the Short-Term Lets licensing scheme. It includes provisions which have a practical effect on the operation of the scheme.

3. Options/ Sectors and Groups Affected

Noting that schemes have been operational since October 2022, from monitoring undertaken to date, the Scottish Government has heard arguments for the following action in relation to the scope of the 2024 Amendment Order. The 2024 Amendment Order focuses on technical updates within the scope of licensing, as previously outlined to Parliament. There have been representations from stakeholders to legislate on other matters, such as clarifying when licensing authorities can grant single licences for multiple premises, however, these will require further prior public consultation to explore views before deciding on a course of action.


Why - Benefits

Summary of Views for and against



Do nothing

Included for completeness of available options

For – no representations made.

Against - We should be evolving implementation, resolving challenges and learning from good practice to adapt accordingly

Negative – unintended consequences would continue


Legislate to give licensing authorities powers to transfer licences

Although the 2022 Licensing Order (and the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982) already enables local authorities to grant assurances in relation to new licences, we have been asked to create specific provision for licence transfers.

For - Advocated by trade bodies and majority of stakeholders are supportive

Against – SOLAR has pointed out that this provision is not available to other licensing regimes regulated by the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982

Positive – facilitates continued investment in sector and allows existing businesses to be sold as ‘going concerns’.


Legislate so that provisional licence applications may be made in relation to short-term let accommodation under construction and confirmed once the construction is complete

There is currently no specific provision under the scheme for incomplete premises.

For - Advocated by trade bodies and majority of stakeholders are supportive

Against – SOLAR has pointed out that this provision is not available to other licensing regimes regulated by the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982

Positive – facilitates investment in the sector.


Legislate to ensure exclusions are specific on the regulation of guest rooms in different types of residential accommodation

Although there is provision in the order already to exclude guest rooms in certain circumstances (for example, residential care), more specific definitions would assist interpretation.

For - Scottish Federation of Housing Associations

Against – no representations made

Positive – clarifies that licenses are not required for guest rooms in care homes/sheltered housing where they are for the purpose of facilitating visits to residents.


Legislate to ensure information is provided in a STL to make sure guests are aware of actions to take in the event of a carbon monoxide alarm sounding.

A specific provision on information related to carbon monoxide alarms would have the intention of preventing avoidable injury or fatality.

For - Sheriff recommendation following Sudden Death Inquiry – report September 2023

Against – no representations made

Positive – improved safety for guests.

Negative – additional requirement for hosts


Legislate to alter the definition of ‘commercial consideration” – remove ‘provision of a service’ from article 2. (1) (b) of Licensing Order

Minor inconsistency in the wording of the 2022 Order which needs to be clarified.

No representations made.

Positive - providing clarity and removing a contradiction from the current legislation


Include more specific provision on the length and period relating to temporary exemptions: current legislative wording is unclear when the 12 month period runs from, and others have interpreted the maximum of six weeks to potentially mean separate periods

Although specific provision exists that gives local authorities power to grant temporary exemptions in certain circumstances, it was felt that clarifying the intended effect of both the six week maximum period and 12 month period running from and to would aid interpretation

For – Some licensing authorities

Against – Some licensing authorities

Other – concern raised about 12 month period limiting application

Positive - clarifies there can be maximum of three periods of temporary exemptions with a combined total of no more than six weeks in a calendar year


Legislate to clarify that single licences for multiple accommodation units do not need to be refused if part of accommodation is unsuitable – the licence is granted for accommodation that is suitable

Definitions and guidance relating to single and multiple licences already exist but some stakeholders have queried interpretation about whether application should be refused if some of the accommodation is unsuitable

For - Licensing authorities

Against – no representations made

Positive - clarifies when one licence can be granted for multiple accommodation units on single premises if some of the accommodation is unsuitable

3.1 Benefits

We have described the likely benefits in the table above, but the overall aim of the 2024 Amendment Order is to make technical updates and to act on emerging unintended consequences, within the scope of the licensing principles outlined to Parliament.

Noting that the 2024 Amendment Order makes changes to a scheme that is already in operation, provisions have been evaluated to ensure that that licensing authorities, who are responsible by law to deliver the STL licensing schemes in their relevant areas, do not carry a significant additional administrative demand.



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