Scottish homeowners to benefit from rental exemptions during major events

Scottish homeowners to benefit from rental exemptions during major events

Homeowners renting out their properties to visitors during events, festivals or sporting occasions could be exempted from a new licensing crackdown on short-term lets.

New legislation introduced by the Scottish Government ensures all short-term let properties will soon have to apply to their local council for a licence, costing hundreds of pounds.
However, it has now been revealed that exemptions to the rules could be made to enable additional accommodation to be provided for large-scale influxes of visitors for large events.

Under the new legislation temporary exemptions could be made for up to a single six-week period in any year, The Scotsman reports.

The Association of Scotland’s Self-caterers (ASSC) has labelled the change as unfair on its members which operate year round in the hard-pressed sector, who will have to spend huge amounts of money on licences expected to cost up to £436 a property.

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “All short-term let properties will require a licence to ensure they are safe and the people providing them are suitable.

“Local authorities are required to establish a short-term lets licensing scheme by October 1, 2022. Existing hosts and operators have until April 1, 2023 to apply for a licence, but can continue to operate until it is determined.

“Our short-term lets guidance sets out the discretion that licensing authorities have to grant temporary exemptions to the requirement to have a licence. They can do this for a specified single continuous period not exceeding six weeks in any period of 12 months.”

The spokesperson added: “This discretion could be used to accommodate a large influx of visitors over a short period to support sports championship competitions and arts festivals, for example. To get a temporary exemption, hosts and operators would need to make an application to the local authority.

“For very large one-off events, such as the Commonwealth Games, Olympics or COP26, Scottish ministers can make a special development order to grant planning per approach mission for change of use for an area and to require discontinuance of use after a certain period.”

Fiona Campbell, chief executive of the Association of Scotland’s Self-caterers (ASSC), commented: “Enabling temporary exemptions of this nature would appear to run contrary to this when hard-pressed small businesses will have to comply. There should be a fairness and consistency of between all accommodation providers.

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