Growth in the number of short-term lets has accelerated significantly in recent years, with some positive and some negative socio-economic impacts. SCDI has written to Aileen Campbell MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Local Government, responding to some of the issues raised and approaches proposed in the Scottish Government’s consultation.
SCDI recognises that short-term lets, and the collaborative digital accommodation platforms which facilitate them, support the continued success of Scotland’s tourism sector, which represents 5% of Scottish GDP and employs over 200,000 people.
However, high concentrations of short-term lets in some urban and rural neighbourhoods has contributed to a reduction in the availability of affordable housing for permanent residents and local workers.
SCDI believes that there should be a balanced and flexible policy response to achieve a growing, thriving tourism sector alongside quality, affordable housing in all of our communities.
The Planning (Scotland) Act 2019 is a positive first step, giving local authorities the power to declare established control areas and effectively cap the number of short-term lets in designated areas. Local authorities should also be able to decide to implement a registration scheme. A registration scheme should be designed to:
- Reflect local socio-economic conditions after close consultation with local businesses;
- Complement and facilitate the enforcement of existing legislation in relation to safety, occupancy, anti-social behaviour etc.;
- Include a code of conduct or best practice for property owners; and,
- Enhance our understanding of the short-term lets market in different parts of the country to inform any subsequent action.
You can read the letter in full below.