Final chance to have your say on licensing of short-term lets

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Residents and businesses in Lochaber have one more day to tell the local government, housing and planning committee how the housing shortage is affecting them and to have their say on changes to the proposed legislation.

The Scottish Government is proposing to introduce a licensing scheme for Airbnb and short-term let properties in a bid to make them safer, to better protect those living next door and to tackle the rapid growth of Airbnb-style rentals.

Ariane Burgess, convener of Holyrood’s local government, housing and planning committee and MSP for the Highlands and Islands, says the high number of short-term lets in popular tourist spots is leaving people struggling to find somewhere to live.

‘There is no doubt there are economic benefits to short-term lets but the over-saturation in the Highlands is having a knock-on effect in the demand for long-term housing so that young people and key workers can’t get a home where they need or want to live.’

Commenting on the proposed legislation last week Kate Willis from Lochaber Greens said: ‘The proliferation of short-term lets in Fort William and Lochaber has reduced housing stock for locals and driven up house prices and rents.

‘This has a knock-on effect with local businesses saying housing shortages are contributing to the staffing issues they face. It is time that short-term lets are regulated to ensure that long-term housing is available and affordable for residents.

‘The answer to this housing shortage is not to endlessly build more houses, especially when these new housing developments involve destroying carbon storing peatland.’

The housing committee will be taking evidence in November and wants to understand
the views and experiences of everybody involved, whether that’s people looking for housing, businesses who are facing staff shortages, and people who have or use short-term lets or live near one.

You can give your views on introducing a licensing scheme for short-term lets until October 29.

More information about what is proposed can be found by accessing the following link:

www.gov.scot/publications/short-term-lets/

Visit yourviews.parliament.scot/spice/licensing-of-short-term-lets/ to complete the survey.