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Airbnb properties in Scotland to need a licence

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Written by: Emma Lunn
20/01/2022
Landlords in Scotland letting Airbnb-style properties will soon need to licence to stay in business.

All short-term let properties in Scotland will require a licence to ensure they are safe and the people providing them are suitable, under legislation approved by the Scottish Parliament. Members of the Scottish Parliament voted in the regulations by 87 votes to 33.

Local authorities will be required to establish a short-term lets licensing scheme by 1 October 2022. Existing hosts and operators will have until 1 April 2023 to apply for a licence.

Fees to apply for a licence will be uncapped under the government’s plans, with individual local authorities able to set their own rate.

The legislation was developed in response to concerns raised by residents and communities about the impact of short-term let properties on their local communities, including noise, anti-social behaviour and the impact on the supply of housing in some areas.

Shona Robison, housing secretary, said: “This legislation is a significant milestone on our path to bringing in an effective system of regulating short-term lets.

“Our licensing scheme will allow local authorities and communities to take action to manage issues more effectively, without unduly curtailing the many benefits of short-term lets to hosts, visitors and the economy.

“We have already introduced legislation allowing councils to establish short-term let control areas and manage numbers of short-term lets. This is the next step to delivering a licensing scheme that will ensure short-term lets are safe and that allowing them to continue to make a positive impact on Scotland’s tourism industry and local economies while meeting the needs of local communities.

“This legislation covers the whole of Scotland, including island and rural communities, and offers flexibility to local authorities in how it is implemented based on local needs and concerns.

“We appreciate the input from tourism bodies, local government, community organisations, residents and others in reaching this point.”

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