Ruth Maguire MSP has encouraged residents to take part in the Scottish Government’s consultation on proposed legislation for the regulation of short term lets.

Proposals by the Scottish Government include a mandatory licensing scheme to ensure that all short-term lets are safe and to address issues faced by neighbours.

If passed by the Scottish Parliament, these regulations would come into effect by April 2021 and give local councils powers to manage pressures created by the use of whole properties as short-term lets.

The SNP MSP said: “The proposals for regulations to short term letting are a sensible way to balance the economic benefits of tourism while ensuring that impacts on our local communities are kept to a minimum.

“North Ayrshire attracts tourists from across Scotland, short term lets can be a benefit to the area with the appropriate checks and balances which the legislation proposed will provide.

“Local residents in North Ayrshire should take the time to give their opinions now that the consultation is open.”

Housing Minister Kevin Stewart said: “Short-term lets can offer people a flexible and affordable accommodation option, and they 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 these arrangements can cause problems for neighbours and make it harder for people to find homes to live in.

“The views and evidence from our previous consultation and research showed broad consensus for some form of regulation. Our proposals will allow local authorities and communities facing the most severe pressures to take action to manage those more effectively from next year.

“I believe our proposals for a licensing scheme and short-term let control areas are evidence-based and right for Scottish circumstances.

“We will be engaging with stakeholders on our detailed proposals over the next four weeks. I am confident that our proposals will allow local authorities to ensure a safe, quality experience for visitors, whilst protecting the interests of local communities.”

The consultation paper can be viewed online on the Scottish Government website.

The consultation runs until Friday 16 October.

In April 2019, the Scottish Government’s first consultation set out its understanding of the benefits of and issues around short-term lets, the principles that would help to guide its approach, and some proposed approaches to regulation. Consultation events were held throughout Scotland with residents, guests, hosts, platforms, businesses and local authorities.

The Government also commissioned research to explore the impact of short-term lets on communities and neighbourhoods in five different areas across the country.