Scotland to regulate short-term lets

The regulation will affect Airbnb properties and ensure a ‘level playing field’ across the hospitality sector

The Scottish government has voted for the “long overdue” regulation of short-term lets, which would affect Airbnb properties.

According to the parliament’s Local Government and Communities Committee, there were just under 32,000 Airbnb listings in Scotland before the pandemic, which were not regulated in the same way as hotels.

Committee members voted in favour of forming a national licensing scheme, which would allow local authorities to regulate properties being used as short-term lets, creating a “level playing field” according to hospitality trade associations.

Willie Macleod, UKHospitality Scotland’s executive director, said: “There are further Parliamentary stages to be gone through before the Statutory Instruments can be finalised, but this should result in a more even-handed competitive position with the heavily regulated hotel industry.

Regulation of short-term lets is long overdue, so it is encouraging to see the Scottish Government pushing ahead with legislation that will benefit consumers and assist with awareness of, and compliance with, relevant regulations.”

He added: “The past few years has seen a boom in short-term letting, which has brought with it a host of issues for residents and customers, and highlighted serious issues around fairness.

“This is not about stifling innovation. Regulation is necessary in order to ensure that customers are protected and there is a level playing field for businesses.”

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