Short-term Letting


About the Inquiry

Committee Scrutiny

The Committee are looking at the proposed changes to the rules on short term letting. Both instruments can be found using the below links:

Before introducing these instruments, the Scottish Government consulted on its proposals. More information can be found below: 

The growth of short-term letting in recent years has brought positives and negatives. The aim of the new rules is to try to find the right balance between the needs of local communities – for instance in relation to having peaceful neighbourhoods and available housing for local people – and the economic and social benefit from having a thriving tourist industry in an area.

The proposed changes involve the creation of a licensing scheme for local authorities to regulate properties being used for short term letting. They would also be given the ability to introduce short-term let control areas. There is a definition of short term lets set out in the new rules.


If the Scottish Parliament approves the new rules, they will come into force on 1 April 2021. Local authorities will have until 1 April 2022 to establish a licensing scheme and existing hosts will have until 1 April 2023 to apply for a licence.

The Committee’s role is to consider these instruments, decide whether to approve them, and report to Parliament. The Committee has agreed to take evidence from the Scottish Government at a meeting early in the New Year. 


To help the Committee come to an informed view, and to prepare for the evidence session with the Scottish Government, we have sought views from interested bodies on the following:

1. Do the proposed changes strike the correct balance between protecting the long-term sustainability of local communities and promoting tourism and strong local economies?

2. Has the Scottish Government’s defined short terms lets in a clear and correct way in the legislation?

3. Will local authorities have adequate resources, powers and expertise to make a success of their new powers and duties? 

If you would like to contribute to this work, please email your views to [email protected] by Friday 22 January. Before submitting, read our privacy note. It would be very helpful if responses are as concise as possible.

Responses are likely to be published and in the name of the person or organisation submitting them, although the Committee is willing to consider accepting anonymous responses from individuals if a reason is given.

Read the submissions


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