Only one fifth of short-term let applications have been approved, Tories suggest

Only one fifth of short-term let applications have been approved, Tories suggest

Only one in five applications for short-term let properties have been approved following the introduction of the licensing scheme, according to data obtained by the Scottish Conservatives.

Freedom of Information responses from 31 of Scotland’s 32 councils showed that 3,148 short-term let applications had been made as of March this year. However, only 664 of these were approved, representing 21% of applications made over the six-month period.

Scottish Conservative South Scotland MSP Sharon Dowey, who uncovered the figures, said they are further “damning proof” that the SNP’s licensing scheme is “not fit for purpose” and is another “huge burden” on small business owners at a time when they are continuing to grapple with rising costs.

Ms Dowey added: “Our councils, which have suffered for years at the hands of savage SNP-Green cuts, simply do not have the resources to process applications in the timely manner that is required.

“With only one in five applications being processed since the order came into force last October, small businesses and individuals are continuing to be hamstrung by this anti-business SNP-Green coalition.

“While I fully accept that there is a need to take local interests into account, particularly where there are housing shortages, the industry warned of the huge downsides of the SNP-Greens’ one-size fits all approach.

“Businesses across Scotland are grappling with rising costs and this licensing scheme is a huge burden on them at a time when more bureaucracy is the last thing they need.”

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “These figures from March 2023 represent a snapshot in time – publicly available information now indicates that over 1,000 short-term let licences have been granted, with more being processed every day.

“Anyone operating short-term lets prior to October 2022 has until 1 October 2023 to apply for a licence, and these hosts can continue operating while their application is being determined by local authorities.

“Licensing regulation ensures short-term lets comply with consistent safety standards across Scotland - it also gives licensing authorities powers to strike a balance between the needs and concerns of local communities and the wider economic and tourism benefits of short-term lets.

“The housing minister recently met with the Association of Scotland’s Self-Caterers to discuss short-term let licensing.

“We remain committed to engaging with stakeholders about implementation of the scheme and continue to be responsive in our approach.”

Share icon
Share this article: