Publication - Minutes

Short-term lets residents' workshop minutes: 5 August 2021

Published: 2 Sep 2021
Date of meeting: 5 Aug 2021

Minutes of the short-term lets residents' workshop held on 5 August 2021.

Published:
2 Sep 2021
Short-term lets residents' workshop minutes: 5 August 2021

Attendees and apologies

Stakeholders present:

There were 18 attendees representing a mixture of urban and rural locations, including Edinburgh, Ayr, Lanark, Boat of Garten, North Berwick, Applecross and West Linton.

Scottish Government officials:

  • Andrew Mott (AM) – More Homes
  • David Manderson (DM) – More Homes
  • David Reekie (DR) – Planning and Architecture

Items and actions

Summary

Scottish Government update

  1. On 25 June 2021, the Scottish Government published the draft licensing legislation and a draft Business and Regulatory Impact Assessment for consultation, accompanied by draft guidance on licensing and planning.  The licensing legislation had been revised following feedback from the stakeholder working group but the changes did not affect the core proposals.
  2. This third consultation was seeking final views on the licensing legislation, ahead of it being laid at the Scottish Parliament in September 2021.  The consultation would close on 13 August 2021.
  3. Once laid at Parliament, the Licensing Order would be considered by the Local Government, Housing and Planning Committee.  The Scottish Government would publish finalise guidance in the autumn.
  4. The legislation allowing local authorities to establish control areas had been in force since 1 April 2021 and final guidance to local authorities on establishing control areas was published on 25 June 2021.  Local authorities could now proceed with the process of establishing control areas.

Points made by attendees

Planning issues and control areas

  1. Some attendees expressed frustration with the various aspects of the planning system: the justification for some decisions to give planning permission (and consistency of these decisions); the timeline for resolving planning cases and finally resolving appeals; and enforcement of both planning law and the decisions by local authorities.  Scottish Government officials could not comment on particular cases but offered to answer general questions about the planning process submitted by e-mail.

Factors and title deeds

  1. The role of factors and stipulations in title deeds were raised in connection with whether use of accommodation for short-term lets was permitted in flatted accommodation.  Another person considered that licensing should be restricted to certain types of dwelling only (e.g. non-detached).

Non-Domestic Rates

  1. One person highlighted the fact that some short-term lets were classed as businesses paying Non-Domestic Rates (as opposed to Council Tax) but were not paying for other services, such as commercial waste collection.

Overprovision

  1. One person asked about the data required in order to establish an overprovision policy.

Rented sector

  1. One person noted the regulation of the private rented sector was likely to have been a contributory factor in the growth of the (currently unregulated) short-term lets market.

Bookings

  1. One person, who was both a resident and a self-caterer, highlighted that they were already taking bookings for 2022/23 and was concerned about the licence duration and renewal period.

Call to action

  1. One person expressed disappointment that the requirement on new hosts and operators to have a licence had moved to 1 October 2022 (from 1 April 2022) and urged Scottish Government to progress with the legislation as quickly as possible.

Notification and publicity

  1. One person wanted an online search facility for licence applications (similar to that for planning applications).  They were concerned about the possible proliferation of notices on lampposts and that Edinburgh’s style of property addressing meant that mail was not always reliably delivered.

Guidance for residents

  1. There was a request that residents were given guidance on the licensing process (not just hosts and operators).

Energy performance requirements

  1. One person asked about the removal of minimum energy performance requirements for short-term lets from the Licensing Order. They noted that properties could move between short-term letting, and the private rented sector, where there were existing minimum energy performance requirements.

Conclusion

  1. A further workshop for residents would be arranged in the autumn.

Contact

On 25 June 2021, the Scottish Government published the draft licensing legislation and a draft Business and Regulatory Impact Assessment for consultation, accompanied by draft guidance on licensing and planning.  The licensing legislation had been revised following feedback from the stakeholder working group but the changes did not affect the core proposals.

This third consultation was seeking final views on the licensing legislation, ahead of it being laid at the Scottish Parliament in September 2021.  The consultation would close on 13 August 2021.

Once laid at Parliament, the Licensing Order would be considered by the Local Government, Housing and Planning Committee.  The Scottish Government would publish finalise guidance in the autumn.

The legislation allowing local authorities to establish control areas had been in force since 1 April 2021 and final guidance to local authorities on establishing control areas was published on 25 June 2021.  Local authorities could now proceed with the process of establishing control areas.

Points made by attendees

Planning issues and control areas

Some attendees expressed frustration with the various aspects of the planning system: the justification for some decisions to give planning permission (and consistency of these decisions); the timeline for resolving planning cases and finally resolving appeals; and enforcement of both planning law and the decisions by local authorities.  Scottish Government officials could not comment on particular cases but offered to answer general questions about the planning process submitted by e-mail.

Factors and title deeds

The role of factors and stipulations in title deeds were raised in connection with whether use of accommodation for short-term lets was permitted in flatted accommodation.  Another person considered that licensing should be restricted to certain types of dwelling only (e.g. non-detached).

Non-Domestic Rates

One person highlighted the fact that some short-term lets were classed as businesses paying Non-Domestic Rates (as opposed to Council Tax) but were not paying for other services, such as commercial waste collection.

Overprovision

One person asked about the data required in order to establish an overprovision policy.

Rented sector

One person noted the regulation of the private rented sector was likely to have been a contributory factor in the growth of the (currently unregulated) short-term lets market.

Bookings

One person, who was both a resident and a self-caterer, highlighted that they were already taking bookings for 2022/23 and was concerned about the licence duration and renewal period.

Call to action

One person expressed disappointment that the requirement on new hosts and operators to have a licence had moved to 1 October 2022 (from 1 April 2022) and urged Scottish Government to progress with the legislation as quickly as possible.

Notification and publicity

One person wanted an online search facility for licence applications (similar to that for planning applications).  They were concerned about the possible proliferation of notices on lampposts and that Edinburgh’s style of property addressing meant that mail was not always reliably delivered.

Guidance for residents

There was a request that residents were given guidance on the licensing process (not just hosts and operators).

Energy performance requirements

One person asked about the removal of minimum energy performance requirements for short-term lets from the Licensing Order. They noted that properties could move between short-term letting, and the private rented sector, where there were existing minimum energy performance requirements.

Conclusion

A further workshop for residents would be arranged in the autumn.