UKHospitality backs possible home-sharing regulation



 The Scottish Government has revealed that a consultation on short-term lets has seen wide support for legislation. News that has been welcomed by UKHospitality.

More than 1,000 responses from communities, landlords and businesses raised a number of concerns about the effects of short-term lets, including anti-social behaviour, safety fears and the impact on the housing market.

Housing Minister Kevin Stewart said, “Short-term lets can offer people a flexible and cheaper travel option, and have contributed positively to Scotland’s tourism industry and local economies across the country.

“However, we know that in certain areas, particularly tourist hot spots, high numbers of short-term lets are causing problems and often making it harder for people to find homes to live in.

UKHospitality Executive Director for Scotland Willie Macleod (pictured, centre) said, “We have been highlighting some of the issues in the short-term let sector: safety fears, the potential for anti-social behaviour and the lack of transparency, and it is good to see the results of the consultation support this. We welcome the commitment by the Scottish Government to review the evidence and take appropriate action.”

“Short-term letting platforms have indeed revolutionised the tourism and hospitality sectors worldwide. The sector has brought with it a number of problems, though, and legislation is needed to ensure fairness.

“Currently, enforcement of safety regulation is difficult to the point of near-impossibility. Anti-social behaviour issues arise from the influx of tourists into residential areas. Businesses with large numbers of rooms are also able to operate on platforms without the restrictions or tax obligations of other accommodation businesses.

“We absolutely need a system of registration UK-wide and legislation to make sure there is a level playing field among businesses and customers kept safe. Legislation in Scotland is a good first step.”

Housing Minister Kevin Stewart advised, “We will carefully consider the evidence before setting out our proposals later this year. In the meantime we will continue to work with local authorities to support them to balance the unique needs of their communities with wider economic and tourism interests.”

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