Short-term thinking

By Stephen McGowan | 07 February 2020

On 8 January 2020 the Scottish Government announced that it would introduce legislation to regulate the use of properties for short-term lets through a licensing scheme under the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982. This follows months of pressure as cities realise they need to respond to the growth of short-term lets, driven in part by the success of online platforms such as Airbnb.

The introduction of new licensing powers to regulate an industry has been done a number of times before, with Holyrood legislating recently to create licensing schemes for operations like knife dealer premises, taxi booking offices and more. For local authorities used to these processes, the format will be well understood. The 1982 Act controls a vast array of other, well established types of licensed business such as taxis, public entertainment, street traders and second hand dealers. This means that the proposed licence for short-term lets will fit within that existing scheme, albeit no doubt with some foibles.

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