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Short-Term Lets policy to come into effect on October 1

Posted on 28 Sep 2022

North Ayrshire’s new Short-Term Lets policy will come into effect on October 1, 2022, following its approval at Licensing Committee.

Members of North Ayrshire Council’s Licensing Committee approved the new policy after considering feedback received from landlords, hosts and neighbours of short-term let properties.

The short-term let licensing scheme will apply to a wide range of accommodation including self-catered properties, B&Bs and guest houses as well as other temporary accommodation such as houses, flats and rented rooms.

The mandatory scheme is being introduced by the Scottish Government with the aim of ensuring short term lets are safe, while attempting to address issues faced by neighbours and local communities.

Following a consultation period in August and early September which attracted almost 50 responses, the Licensing Committee approved its new policy on Monday, September 26.

Chairperson of North Ayrshire Licensing Committee Eleanor Collier said that she expects to see further revisions to the policy in future to help ensure a system which works for everyone.

Councillor Collier said: “First and foremost, I would like to thank everyone who took part in the consultation. The feedback we received has been vital in helping to shape the new Short-Term Lets Policy.

“Given that legislation required us to have the policy in place for October, I’m hopeful that we have put in place a solid policy which has been informed by those most affected – the hosts and the neighbours.

“However, we will be more than happy to revisit the policy if it needs tweaked further. We will monitor and review the policy down the line to make sure we are striking the right balance for everyone with a stake in it.”

From 1 October 2022, new hosts and operators will need a licence and will not be permitted to take bookings or receive guests until they obtain a licence

Existing hosts don't need a Licence immediately for premises they already let, but they will have to apply to the Council before 1 April, 2023. Once they do, they can continue operating until the Council makes a decision to grant or refuse their applications.

To help existing hosts, the Council will have an ‘Existing Host Confirmation Scheme’:

  •  this Scheme is free-of-charge (Hosts will have to pay an application fee when they apply later for a Licence, but the Confirmation is not a Licence and the Scheme is free)
  •  the Scheme is a North Ayrshire Council initiative, as the national legislation does not require it.

This scheme will let those hosts request Confirmation from the Council that they can operate without a Licence until then. If the Council issue the Confirmation, this will not be a 'licence', and the Host will still have to apply for a Licence before 1 April, 2023.

Details of the Scheme and how to request Confirmation will shortly be put on the Council website.

The Committee were also told of concerns from hosts about the level of detail required in Licence plans, and amended the requirements after discussion with Council officers. The Council is limited in the changes it can make as the system is mandatory and applies throughout Scotland.

The Licensing Committee will receive a further report, in approximately 18 months time, detailing a review of the operation of the Short-Term Lets scheme in North Ayrshire, including the level of fees charged and the operation of the conditions.

You can find out more about the new short-term let licence policy.