Inverclyde Council handed new powers to tackle unregistered lettings market

SNP OUTLINE PLAN TO REGULATE SHORT-TERM LETS

Stuart McMillan MSP has backed an announcement from the Scottish Government that local councils will be given new powers to licence and limit the number of short-term lets, such as AirBNBs.

The number of short-term lets in Scotland has risen dramatically in recent years – but evidence shows that in many tourist hotspots locals are finding it increasingly hard to find homes to live in.

Speaking in Holyrood on Wednesday, Housing Minister Kevin Stewart outlined the SNP’s plans to establish a licensing scheme for short-term lets and a review of the tax paid by the properties – as well handing councils the power to introduce ‘short-term let control areas’ where the number of AirBNB properties can be restricted through planning permission.

Welcoming the announcement, the SNP MSP for Greenock and Inverclyde, said:

“We must strike a balance between the economic benefits of tourism to Scotland and the impact on local communities.

“In the likes of Edinburgh and the Highlands, and across other tourist hotspots in Scotland, short-term lets such as AirBNBs are restricting the number of properties available for those looking for a home to live in.

“However, in constituencies like my own where we are working hard to drive up tourism to the area, short-term lets provide an alternative to hotels and are supporting the increase in tourists coming to visit Inverclyde.

“As Convener of the Cross Party Group on Tourism I stressed that short-term lets support tourism but should not do so at the expense of housing provision, so I’m pleased that in areas where this has unfortunately become the case, local authorities will be able to take action to redress the balance.

“The proposals announced by the Scottish Government will give councils new powers to control the number of short-term lets in the local community and ensure they make a fair contribution to the services they use.

“The SNP has outlined a robust and proportionate approach to tackling this serious issue – I’d call on elected officials from across Inverclyde to get behind these proposals and help secure real change for the area.”

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