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Chamber and committees

Question reference: S6W-19525

  • Asked by: Jackie Baillie, MSP for Dumbarton, Scottish Labour
  • Date lodged: 29 June 2023
  • Current status: Answered by Paul McLennan on 19 July 2023


To ask the Scottish Government, following the publication of Lord Braid's opinion on the judicial review of the City of Edinburgh Council's short-term lets licensing policy, what discussions it has had with (a) COSLA and (b) local authorities regarding the possible implications for other short-term let licensing schemes in Scotland.


We continue to engage regularly with stakeholders including COSLA, SOLAR and licensing authorities. We have highlighted the JR decision to licensing authorities and it is for them to consider this in the context of their own local policies.

During the development of short-term lets regulations between 2019 and 2021, we considered alternatives to licensing including whether regulations (made under Part 8 of the 2004 Act) might extend landlord registration to cover short-term lets. These alternatives were found to be unsuitable and could not deliver on all aspects of our short-term lets policy. A significant disadvantage of using a system designed for a different purpose is it imposes constraints on short-term lets regulation, and we consider it an integral aspect for local areas to be able to include additional conditions to address issues relevant to individual cases and local areas. Using the Antisocial Behaviour etc. (Scotland) Act 2004, in particular, would also have had broader implications for short-term lets in the context of other legislation, for example the Tenancy Deposit Scheme regulations and Letting Agent Regulation, as well as restricted appeals to be dealt with by the Housing Tribunal, which would not have been sustainable.

Development of the short-term lets licensing legislation took place over four years with extensive consultation and engagement with stakeholders. This included through three consultations. Alternatives were considered but these do not provide the same level of provision as licensing. The approach that was taken provides powers to local authorities to set additional conditions to regulate the short-term let sector to empower them to implement a system that works for their area, which addresses the local needs and concerns of each local authority.