Secretary for Social Justice, Housing and Local Government Shona Robison
Following the approval of The Control Area Regulations in February 2021, which permits local authorities to establish short-term let control areas, the Scottish Government has approved The Licensing of Short-term Let 2022 Order which will allow local authorities to set up short-term let licensing schemes. This legislation is the next step in managing short-term lets in the country.
The approval of the licensing scheme means that local authorities will be required to establish a short-term let licensing scheme by October 2022. Existing hosts and operators will have until 1 April 2023 to apply for a licence for each property that they operate as a short-term let. All short-term lets in Scotland will have to be licensed by 1 July 2024. On or after 1 April 2024 operating without a licence is unlawful in all cases and those hosts should not be taking bookings.
Where a short-let property is located in a short-term let control area, such as the proposed control area for the whole of the Edinburgh council area, a condition of obtaining a short-term let licence will be proof of planning permission. The licence application will be refused where a property that requires planning permission does not have it. The licence scheme will be a separate process to the planning system and regulations, but they are ultimately entwined in short-term let control areas.
Outside of short-term let areas, a council still has the authority to judge applications on a case-by-case basis meaning they can decide if a change of use of a dwelling house is material and therefore requires planning permission.
Any short-term let licence granted by the Council is subject to mandatory conditions set out in Schedule 3 of the Order, which includes conditions on fire, gas and electrical safety. In addition, the Council has the authority to apply its own standard conditions to all licences granted or specific conditions on any particular licence.
This legislation is a response to ongoing concerns raised by residents and communities about the impact of short-term let properties in their area which include impact on housing supply, affordability, noise and antisocial behaviour. It is also about ensuring that short-term lets are safe and the people providing them are suitable hosts.
If you are the owner of properties that you let out short-term within a proposed short-term let area now is the time to consider applying for planning permission. Without planning permission you won’t be able to gain a licence and you then won’t be able to operate.
If you wish us to make a planning application on your behalf or are looking for planning advice regarding short-term let properties, please get in touch with our Edinburgh office.
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