Short-term lets – licensing scheme and planning control areas: consultation analysis

Report on the Scottish Government’s short term lets: consultation on a licensing scheme and planning control areas in Scotland which ran from 14 September to 16 October 2020.

1. Executive Summary

1.1. This is a report on the Scottish Government’s Short Term Lets: Consultation on a licensing scheme and planning control areas in Scotland[1] which ran from 14 September to 16 October 2020. This report uses the same terminology as in the consultation paper and, for ease of reference, the glossary is reproduced at chapter 2.

1.2. The Scottish Government received 1086 consultation responses and engaged through 20 virtual workshops and events at which 423 people attended. The consultation process is explained in more detail in chapter 3.

1.3. A number of respondents raised the issue of the timing of these proposals and whether the Scottish Government had taken the impact of COVID-19 on the tourism sector into account. This report sets out the Scottish Government’s response at chapter 4.

1.4. The next three chapters deal with the points made in consultation in respect of the three questions relating to the definition of a short-term let, control area regulations and the licensing scheme, respectively. The points are dealt with in the same order as in the consultation paper.

1.5. Chapter 5 sets out the main points made in respect of the definition of a short-term let and the Scottish Government’s response on:

  • unconventional accommodation;
  • student accommodation;
  • aparthotels;
  • the relationship with the private rented sector and HMOs;
  • accommodation provided for work;
  • broadening the definition of family;
  • educational stays with families; and
  • comparison with the treatment of lodgers.

1.6. Similarly, chapter 6 sets out the main points made in respect of control areas and the Scottish Government’s response on:

  • what constitutes a material change of use;
  • process for reverting from short-term lets to residential use;
  • revocation of planning permission;
  • removal of permitted development rights;
  • the process for establishing a control area; and
  • transitional arrangements for existing secondary lets without planning permission.

1.7. Again, chapter 7 sets out the main points made in respect of the licensing scheme and the Scottish Government’s response on:

  • amendments to mandatory conditions with respect to: private water supplies; public liability insurance; and other modest improvements to, for example, electrical safety;
  • amendment to the mandatory condition on planning permission;
  • amendments to mandatory conditions relating to taxation and mortgage or tenancy terms;
  • the framing of discretionary licence conditions;
  • the payment of fees as a mandatory condition;
  • application process and clarifying who holds the licence;
  • relevant information for the fit and proper person test;
  • the requirement to notify neighbours of application;
  • the refusal of an application, suspension and revocation of a licence and implications for bookings;
  • sanctions for offences including the level of fines and the possibility of imprisonment;
  • renewal and notification changes;
  • temporary licences and exemptions; and
  • the requirement for adverts to include the licence number.

1.8. Chapter 8 gives an overview of the six impact assessments set out in the following chapters:

  • Chapter 9 - a Children’s Rights and Wellbeing Impact Assessment (CRWIA);
  • Chapter 10 - a summary of the Equalities Impact Assessment (EQIA);
  • Chapter 11 - a Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA);
  • Chapter 12 - a summary assessment against the Fairer Scotland Duty;
  • Chapter 13 - an Island Communities Impact Assessment (ICIA); and
  • Chapter 14 - a summary of the pre-screening Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA).

1.9. The Business and Regulatory Impact Assessment is published separately.

1.10. The Scottish Government is very grateful to all those who took the time and trouble to engage with this consultation.



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