Orkney Islands Council launches short-term lets consultation

Orkney Islands Council launches short-term lets consultation

Orkney Islands Council has launched a consultation on its proposed licensing scheme for short-term lets.

The Scottish Government passed legislation in March this year requiring all local authorities to put in place arrangements for those renting out rooms or properties on a short-let basis – for example through Air B&B – to obtain a licence to do so.

The Scottish Government says that the legislation is designed to ensure that rooms or properties meet specific safety standards.

From 1 October 2022, any new operators or hosts must have a licence in place before they can let out the room or property. Anyone who has been renting out a room or property prior to this has until 1 April 2023 to apply and will be able to continue to operate in the meantime. All licences must be in place by 1 July 2024.

The council’s consultation, which will run for six weeks, focuses on its proposed policy on temporary exemptions and on the fees that will be charged for the licence.

Orkney Islands Council is not consulting on the need for a licence - or the mandatory conditions attached to the licence - as those are now set in law by the Scottish Government.

The mandatory conditions of the licence include conditions such as only the person named on the licence carrying out the day to day management of the property, adequate fire and carbon monoxide detection systems being in place, and the number of guests residing on the premises not exceeding the number specified in the licence.

Through the legislation the Council could have imposed additional conditions – but has chosen not to do so.

The consultation runs until August 7, 2022.

Full details on the temporary exemptions consultation are available here and on the fees consultation here.

The committee reports which considered the licensing scheme and a full recording of the meeting are available here.

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