Plans for short-term lets legislation criticised

South Scotland list MSP Brian Whittle has criticised the Scottish Government after it began a consultation on licensing short-term lets, just months after dropping plans for similar regulations ahead of May’s election.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 30th July 2021, 2:23 pm
Brian Whittle MSP
Brian Whittle MSP

He claims the consultation, which is due to end on August 13, risks creating unnecessary bureaucracy for small businesses instead of helping them to recover from the effects of the pandemic.

Under the proposed legislation, councils will have until October 1, 2022 ,to establish a licensing scheme, with all short-term lets to be licensed by April 1, 2024. Existing hosts and operators must apply for a licence by April 1, 2023.

B&B owners and small businesses running short-term holiday lets across Scotland have raised concerns about the proposals.

While there have been concerns from residents in tourist destinations about excessive numbers of properties being used for short term lets, many small business owners in other parts of Scotland feel their being targeted unfairly.

Mr Whittle said: “Considering they ditched the same idea just before the election, the decision to resurrect these plans, just as we’re beginning to see a route to recovery from the pandemic, is baffling.

“Small hospitality businesses are a vital part of our tourism sector but instead of supporting them to recover, this will do the opposite.

"I’m firmly opposed to these plans which would harm local business and put jobs at risk, and I’d encourage everyone who might be affected by these plans to join me in speaking up.”