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Agent slams new rules for Airbnb and other short let rentals

A holiday letting agency has criticised the introduction of licensing for short term rentals in Scotland as “poorly thought-through and ill-timed”. 

Iain McDonald, a manager at Finest Retreats, says his agency has been inundated with calls in the past fortnight from current and future owners. 

“Scotland is one of our key areas for growth,” says McDonald “yet many owners there are either unaware of the new licensing requirement, or aware but confused by the complex application process and specific constraints applicable to each locality.


“With limited awareness of the new requirement, four different types of licences, and differences in implementation depending on which local authority the property falls under, it seems as though this new requirement has been designed to be as unwieldy as possible,” says McDonald.

Property owners in Edinburgh are subject to an additional hurdle as properties in the city’s Planning Control Area also have to submit a planning application in order to let the property on a short term basis, as well as apply for a lettings licence. 

McDonald suggests that other areas of Scotland may follow this lead with Badenoch & Strathspey having already applied for PCA status. Planning applications can take up to three months.

These new rules apply to all types of short term lettings and while the initial licence may last for three years, it will then need to be renewed.

The company claims this is off-putting to new entrants to the market, given that from this week they will not be permitted to take bookings or deposits until they are fully licenced. 

The additional costs involved with licence fees as well as income lost while awaiting the outcome of a licence application are all going to impact owners first, but also likely be passed on to guests, says Finest Retreats 

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    People need homes, not stag party venues.


    While I agree with your comment, at the same time we, as landords, resent interference in our businesses, so we should equally resent interference in ArBnB. AirBnB is a legitimate business no matter whether for stag/hen parties (no sex discriminaton here please!), short stay holidays etc. low emission zones etc. Just another layer of beaurocracy and tax.

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    Industry Expert, don't you think that the whole world needs homes, that's why you are inviting them here ?


    Not sure that makes sense.

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    Free for all capitalism is as damaging to society as communism. And it is about time that letting was licenced etc with all the legal protections and h&s checks necessary. Much as we regulate the medical professions. Good owners/ landlords have nothing to fear. Sure it all costs. But any regulated activity does. We see what a free for all has done for the Internet and lack of controls on gambling as examples.

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    Burton, the PRS sector is being given to the banks, with a Dowry attached. The PRS is not free for all capitalism, it's willing seller and willing buyer. We don't regulate the medical profession,bit regulates itself !

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    AirBnB has prevented many people in areas such as Cornwall from finding local homes. It's a scourge which should be banned.


    Buy2let prevents many people in areas like Cornwall (Born and bred Cornishman) finding local homes, so let's ban private rentals too?

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    Cornwall has a big problem with drunks and druggies who won't work! Who wreck the whole housing market Cornwall, in my opinion, has a lot less tourist accomodation, now, than it used to have but Air BnB is being used as a convenient scapegoat for mass immigration. 16 million in 40 years !


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