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AirBnb Victory? - short lets register is delayed six months

It’s been announced that a deadline for existing hosts on AirBnb and other short let platforms to register with the Scottish Government has been extended.

In a letter to the Scottish Parliament’s Local Government Committee, the cabinet secretary for housing Shona Robison confirmed that the SNP/Green administration is delaying compulsory registration from April 1 next year to October 1.

Many pressure groups had lobbied the Scottish Government saying the registration would worsen the cost of living crisis for existing hosts using AirBnb and other platforms, and would damage the Scottish tourism industry.


In the letter, Robison says this is a “one-off” six-month extension recognising the wider economic circumstances of the cost of living crisis that is placing pressure on existing short-term let hosts and businesses at a time when they are organising and budgeting for work to comply with the new licensing requirements.

Robison continues: “We do not intend to propose a change to arrangements for new hosts, who will still be required to obtain a licence before they can accept bookings and receive guests. This upholds the purpose of introducing licensing, which is to ensure all new short-term lets across Scotland meet mandatory conditions (including safety standards) and are provided by fit and proper people. 

“I am content that the current legislation still allows the sector to expand, with authorities having discretion to consider licence applications from prospective buyers of short-term let businesses with the current owner/s consent.

“In light of this proposed amendment to extend the deadline for applications from existing hosts, I am re-considering the scope and timing of the licensing review we intended to undertake in Summer 2023. I will update the Committee on this in due course.”

Labour and Liberal Democrat councillors in Edinburgh, which has seen the rapid proliferation of AirBnb and other short lets, denounced the delay as “caving in” and “shameful.”


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