Short-term/holiday let regulations published

Following two public consultations, the Scottish Government has laid draft legislation before Parliament to bring in regulation of the short-term/holiday let sector.

Subject to the approval of the Scottish Parliament, the legislation will come into force on 1 April 2021. It brings in two main changes to the short-term/holiday let sector:

  1. Licensing – the legislation requires all operators of short-term/holiday lets in Scotland to apply for a licence. Local authorities will have until 1 April 2022 to establish a licensing scheme and existing operators will have until 1 April 2023 to apply for a licence. Those applying for a licence will undergo a fit and proper person test and must confirm (via a declaration or photographic/documentary evidence) that they meet safety standards and licensing conditions.
  1. Planning permission – the regulations give local authorities the power to introduce control areas within which planning permission will always be required for the change of use of properties from long term residences to short-term/holiday lets. Following a request from SAL for clarification on the position of established short-term/holiday lets, we are pleased that the government has confirmed our understanding that properties which have been operated as short-term/holiday lets without enforcement action being taken in the last 10 years will be exempt from the requirement to apply for planning permission. Those operating such properties as short-term/holiday lets will still be required to apply for a licence.

The Scottish Government intends to produce a guidance document in spring 2021 for those operating holiday/short-term lets. We will share a link to this document with members once it is published.