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Graham Awards


Pioneering clampdown on short lets gathers pace

Scotland’s official clampdown on short lets is gathering pace with the country’s housing minister advocating a licensing regime and so-called ‘control areas’ limiting their spread.

Kevin Stewart says the plans - which have not yet been endorsed by the Scottish Government, and are thought to be the strictest  in the UK - strike the right balance between the needs of the local economy in major cities and “communities who have had enough and want action” over anti-social behaviour and housing shortages.

If approved, the proposals will come into force on April 1 this year but local authorities will have 12 months to establish localised versions of the schemes and process applications.


Existing hosts advertising accommodation on Airbnb and similar platforms will have until April 1 2023 to apply.

Some Scottish councils, trade bodies and Members of the Scottish Parliament are concerned the proposals for each local area would require parliamentary agreement, and thus centralising decision making too much. Other believe there are elements of the controls which contravene international competition guidelines. 

Stewart responds by saying: “Our proposals on short-term lets are in response to concerns raised by residents and neighbours around safety, antisocial behaviour and the displacement of communities.

“Our proposals give local authorities the powers they need to balance community needs and concerns with wider economic and tourism interests.”

Poll: Should licensing and control areas be introduced for Airbnb and short lets across the UK?



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