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Chamber and committees

Question reference: S6W-26839

  • Asked by: Paul Sweeney, MSP for Glasgow, Scottish Labour
  • Date lodged: 12 April 2024
  • Current status: Answered by Tom Arthur on 26 April 2024


To ask the Scottish Government for what reason short-term let operators reportedly benefit from the Small Business Bonus Scheme to the extent that 80% of those paying non-domestic rates pay nothing towards local services.


The Small Business Bonus Scheme offers up to 100% relief to non-domestic properties where the rateable value of the property does not exceed £20,000, the rateable value of all of the ratepayer’s properties does not exceed £35,000 and the property is not used for an excluded purpose.

Second homes used for short-term self-catering lets and liable for non-domestic rates may therefore be eligible for the Small Business Bonus Scheme (SBBS) relief where they meet the eligibility criteria.

To be classed as self-catering holiday accommodation liable for non-domestic rates, the accommodation must be actually let for 70 nights or more and available to let for 140 nights or more in each financial year. The thresholds were introduced following a recommendation by the 2017 independent Barclay Review of non-domestic rates which noted the potential for owners of second homes to seek their accommodation to be classed as non-domestic in order to avoid council tax, and no requirement to evidence that the property has been let.