Short-Term Lets: Consultation

Closed 22 Jul 2019

Opened 28 Apr 2019

Results updated 14 Sep 2020

Short Term Lets: Consultation on a licensing scheme and planning control areas in Scotland

A consultation will gather final views on proposed new legislation for the regulation of short-term lets.

The Scottish Government’s proposals include a mandatory licensing scheme to ensure that all short-term lets are safe and to address issues faced by neighbours.

The regulations, if passed by Parliament, would come into force by April 2021.  These would also give councils powers to manage pressures created by the use of whole properties as short-term lets.

Read the consultation paper on the Scottish Government website.

The consultation runs until Friday 16 October.

Regulation of short-term lets: announcement 8 Jan 2020

Kevin Stewart MSP, Minister for Local Government, Housing and Planning announced in a statement to Parliament on 8 Jan that the Scottish Government will:

  • Introduce licencing for short-term lets, under the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982, with a mandatory safety component which will apply to all short-term lets across Scotland. Local authorities will also be given the discretion to put in place further conditions; to help tackle littering or overcrowding of properties, for example.
  • Prioritise work to give local authorities the power to introduce short-term let control areas under powers in the Planning (Scotland) Act 2019.
  • Undertake a review of the tax treatment of short-term lets, to ensure they make an appropriate contribution to the communities they operate in.

This follows careful consideration of consultation responses, and the evidence provided by the independent research on the impact of short-term lets on communities, published on 28 Oct 2019.

Further details of the annoucement can be found in the news release

Consultation responses published 28 Oct 2019

The consultation on a regulatory framework for short-term lets in Scotland Closed on 23 July 2019, receiving over 1,000 responses. We are grateful to all who responded.

Responses to the consultation, an independent analysis of those responses and a report on independent research on the impact of short-term lets on communities were published on 28 October 2019.

The Scottish Government will carefully consider the consultation responses and evidence of the consultation analysis and research reports before setting out our proposals.

Published responses

View submitted responses where consent has been given to publish the response.


The consultation asks for your views on the regulation of short-term lets in Scotland. There has clearly been a significant growth in short-term lets in a small timescale and the consultation sets out the factual background, describes the issues arising, outlines local authorities current powers to address them and presents an overview of regulatory approaches elsewhere in the world. Your views will help the Scottish Government find the right approach for Scotland.


Why we are consulting

Short-term lets have become the subject of much controversy in some parts of Scotland and evoke strong opinions. Our 2018 Programme for Government made a commitment to ensure that local authorities have appropriate regulatory powers to balance the needs and concerns of their communities with wider economic and tourism interests. The consultation asks for your views on what those powers should be.

The Scottish Government welcomes the economic benefits which the development of new models of short-term letting brings to Scotland however we also recognise the problems caused by short-term lets, which are summarised in the consultation. A regulatory approach might involve registration and/or licensing of short-term lets and enable different areas to tailor the approach to their local needs and priorities, with the possible addition of a market-based mechanism to control numbers. Consultation is an essential part of the policy making process and your views on these issues will help the Scottish Government shape the regulatory approach to short-term lets.

Read the consultation paper.

Sign up for Stakeholder Engagement Events. 


The consultation on a regulatory framework for short-term lets in Scotland closed on 23 July. No further responses can now be accepted. 


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