SLE welcomes Scottish Government decision to withdraw short-term lets licensing regulations

General News

B&Bs, self-caterers and other providers of rural accommodation breathed a sigh of relief today following the Scottish Government’s decision to withdraw their proposed short-term lets licensing regulations.

In a letter to the Local Government and Communities Committee, the Minister, Kevin Stewart MSP acknowledged the need to provide guidance and make adjustments to address concerns raised by MSPs, the Delegated Law & Reform Committee and stakeholders.

The Scottish Government said it would take the time between now and June to work with businesses to create guidance and consider changes to the proposals that meet the needs of small tourism businesses in rural Scotland. 

SLE considered the regulations as drafted to be potentially damaging to the rural tourism economy at a time when it could least afford it, and not fit for purpose.

We campaigned hard for our members against the legislation, which would have foisted licensing fees and other costly regulations upon them by:

  • Meeting with and writing to MSPs and Cabinet Secretaries.
  • Mobilising our members to respond to requests for evidence.
  • Reaching out to council leaders.
  • Publishing articles in local and national newspapers, as well as online.
  • Working with stakeholders from across the tourism sector to amplify our voice.

SLE Policy Adviser Gavin Mowat said:

“This is a real positive development for SLE members and the rural economy.

“Under the regulations B&Bs, self-caterers and providers of unconventional holiday accommodation essential to Scotland’s rural economy would have been hit with an unnecessary layer of bureaucracy.

“When the Government consulted on the regulations for short term lets, these accommodations were far from the forefront of policy makers’ concerns.

“Forcing unwelcome and unnecessary regulations on small rural businesses, the lifeblood of our communities will not solve problems with anti-social behaviour or lack of residential housing in cities.

We are grateful that the Government has listened to our concerns and decided to think again and appreciate the efforts of MSPs from all parties who have worked with us and share our commitment to getting the regulations right first time.”