Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 (Licensing of Short-term Lets) (Amendment) Order 2024: impact assessments

The Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 (Licensing of Short-term Lets) Order 2022 requires local authorities to establish a short-term lets licensing scheme. The 2024 Order includes provisions which have a practical effect on the licensing scheme.

7. Island Community Impact Assessment

7.1 Step One – Develop a clear understanding of your objectives:

See section 2 for a summary breakdown of provisions.

  • Do you need to consult? No, three public consultations were undertaken in 2019, 2020 and 2021 as the original legislation was developed. The amendments being made have arisen from monitoring of implementation in 2022 and 2023, and listening to feedback from stakeholders. The following informal engagement between October 2023 and March 2024 has helped to refine the detail of the amendments.

Stakeholder engagement

  • The policy team has involved the following stakeholders:
    • licensing authorities and COSLA;
    • Visit Scotland and its Industry Advisory Group;
    • short-term let platforms (Airbnb, and vrbo);
    • community/ resident groups;
    • home exchange organisations;
    • Scottish Federation of Housing Associations;
    • Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and Police Scotland;
    • SOLAR; and
    • Scotland’s Housing Network forum for council officers leading on short-term let licensing implementation.
  • How are islands identified for the purpose of the policy, strategy or service? Island communities are defined in the 2018 Act as:
    • consisting of two or more individuals, all of whom permanently inhabit an island (whether or not the same island), and
    • based on common interest, identity or geography (including in relation to any uninhabited island whose natural environment and terrestrial, marine and associated ecosystems contribute to the natural or cultural heritage or economy of an inhabited island).
  • What are the intended impacts/outcomes and how do these potentially differ in the islands? The SSI will clarify existing legislation, therefore the effects of the SSI will not differ in the islands.
  • Is the policy, strategy or service new? No – the Short-Term Lets Licensing Order was passed by Parliament in January 2022 and local schemes became operational in October 2022. These amendments will clarify this existing legislation or introduce new provision (such as the transfer of licences) being asked for by the sector.

7.2 Step Two – Gather your data and identify your stakeholders:

  • What data is available about the current situation in the islands? The ICIA for the Short-Term Licensing Scheme, undertaken in December 2020 is the basis for this ICIA and contains data on the short-term lets situation in the islands.

Further to this, the Scottish Government is now publishing quarterly official statistics on short-term let licensing applications. As we are still in the transitional period of the Scheme’s implementation, this data does not yet provide a full picture about application numbers. The next quarter will be published in May 2024 and will cover the period 1 July to 31 December 2023 when a significant volume of applications were made prior to the deadline for existing hosts. The last quarter was published in November 2023 and can be found here Short Term Lets Licensing Statistics Scotland to 30 June 2023 - (

  • Do you need to consult? No (see above section in step 1 regarding stakeholder engagement)
  • How does any existing data differ between islands? The ICIA for the Short-Term Licensing Scheme, undertaken in December 2020 is the basis for this ICIA and contains data on the short-term lets situation in the islands.
  • Are there any existing design features or mitigations in place? No

7.3 Step Three – Consultation:

  • Who do you need to consult with? (see information in step 1 regarding stakeholder engagement undertaken)

7.4 Step Four – Assessment:

  • Does your assessment identify any unique impacts on island communities? No
  • Does your assessment identify any potential barriers or wider impacts? No
  • How will you address these? N/A

7.5 Step Five – A full Islands Community Impact Assessment is Not required:

In preparing the ICIA, I have formed an opinion that our policy, strategy or service is Not likely to have an effect on an island community which is significantly different from its effect on other communities (including other island communities). The reason for this is detailed below.

Reason for not completing a full Islands Communities Impact Assessment: The Order does not amend any fundamental part of the existing short-term lets licensing scheme, or have a substantial effect on island communities. The effect of the Order is to clarify existing legislation, to bring existing legislation into line with other legislation or policy, to enhance safety standards, and to introduce new powers for license transfers and provisional licenses for new build short-term lets.

Screening ICIA completed by Craig Stevenson, More Homes Division, 10 April 2024

ICIA authorised by (we recommend DD level), Lauren McNamara, Interim DD More Homes Division. 24 April 2024



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