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Noose tightens on unregulated city Airbnb and other short lets

One of Britain’s largest cities wants to regulate Airbnb and other short let platforms.

The proposed scheme in Glasgow follows legal changes that allow local authorities to introduce a licensing framework for owners of properties intended for short-term rental.

While a number of property types are exempt from inclusion in a potential licensing scheme, the new legislation identifies properties intended for secondary letting, home letting, home sharing or home letting and home sharing as eligible for regulation.


The proposed scheme also sets out possible limits on the number of people that can be accommodated in relation to the number of rooms available in a property; a requirement for fire, gas and electrical safety standards to be met and seeks to apply a fit and proper person test to licence holders.

Under the legislation, it would become an offence to operate a short-term let without a licence and the proposed policy also establishes a complaints process for neighbours and tenants. 

Public liability insurance would also be required to be in place for the duration of any let and licence holders would be expected to act reasonably in relation to maintenance for communal areas of a property.

The draft policy from Glasgow’s Labour council also sets out expectations for waste management and puts forward that key boxes can only be attached to a property with prior, written permission of owners or the relevant authority.

Councillor Alex Wilson of the council says: "On-line booking for short term lets has transformed where people stay for their holidays and made it far easier for property holders to get involved in the rental market. 

“But this explosion in short-term lets also directly impacts upon those living in neighbouring properties and can affect their quality of life if a let is poorly managed.

"This draft policy is an attempt to redress the balance and give other residents some comfort that the short-term let in their close or community will be operated safely and appropriately.  

“The policy sets basic standards that any reasonable host should be able to achieve and so provide reassurances to neighbouring residents, but also those who rent the property.

"But it is vitally important that this policy is developed in conjunction with the community at large. We will be seeking views directly from a range of stakeholders, but our consultation on this issue will be open to all and we urge anyone with an interest in this issue to contribute their opinion.”

According to the legislation, all council licensing authorities will be able to establish a regulatory scheme form October 1 this year with all short-term lets expected to be licensed by April 1, 2024.  

The operator of any short-term let that existed prior to October 1, 2022 will have until April 1, 2023 to submit a licensing application.

Current planning policy in Glasgow indicates that flats used for short stay accommodation must have planning permission and licensing applications must be accompanied by proof that planning consent is in place. Planning permission is not required for home sharing, secondary letting for a house and home letting for a house.


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