Short-term lets consultation: response analysis

Independent analysis of the responses submitted to the short-term lets consultation on a regulatory framework for Scotland.

Part 1 - Data

19. The consultation paper provided a range of statistics[8]. Annex A of the consultation paper presented an overview of the available evidence on the short-term rental sector in Scotland. Question 1 asked,

Q1: 'Are you aware of any additional data on the impacts of short-term lets (over and above that set out in Annex A - The Short-Term Rental Sector, Housing and Tourism in Scotland and briefly summarised above) which the Scottish Government should take into account when considering proposals for regulation?

20. A total of 799 respondents commented at this question. The following table provides a breakdown of those who chose to respond.

Table 3: Q1

Affected resident 411
Community organisation 48
Guest 42
Host with 1 property 173
Host with 2+ properties 93
Platform 2
Host intermediary 15
Hotel / B&B owner 12
Local authority 17
Other (non short-term let) landlord 15
Other business 29
Other 92
Total organisations 99
Individuals 700
Total respondents 799

21. A majority of respondents were unaware of any additional data on the impacts of short-term lets. While a range of data sources were mentioned by respondents, each was cited only by a small number. There were a small number of comments on a lack of existing evidence, and attendees at one event noted the need for more research on short-term lets.

22. Of those respondents who cited specific data sources, the most commonly mentioned, albeit by only a few respondents, was the Association of Scotland's Self-Caterers (ASSC) report 'Far More than Just Houses' and a small number of respondents also referred to unspecified ASSC reports.

23. Very small numbers of respondents referred to data from Airbnb, Zoopla, local authority statistics, data from Visit Scotland or data from other work that had been conducted.

24. There were a very small number of concerns over how data are interpreted, with the example given that some short-term lets are listed on multiple sites and may be counted more than once. A very small number of respondents also commented that any decisions relating to a regulatory framework need to be based on robust data. A similar number also made suggestions to consider how other cities are dealing with short-term lets.

25. A very small number of respondents noted there are issues in collating data on the impacts of short-term lets because the sector is so unregulated and holiday lets can be found on a wide range of different sources including online platforms and websites such as Gumtree. A very small number of respondents suggested that a registration scheme would allow data to be collected which could also be reviewed regularly and be used as an evidence base. One respondent submitted some qualitative data of individuals' experiences of living within close proximity of short-term lets.

26. Many of those responding to this question took the opportunity to outline positive and negative aspects in relation to short-term lets. These are commented on further at the relevant questions.



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