A majority of MSPs on a Holyrood committee supported plans to introduce a licensing regime for short-term leased properties in Scotland.
However, a minority in the Local Government Committee felt that a registration system would be more appropriate, as it would impose less burdens on owners.
According to the Scottish Government’s plans, all Airbnb-style properties will need to be licensed from the boards by 2024.
In December, the committee heard testimony from a number of groups supporting and opposing the plans.
Amanda Cupples, Airbnb’s Managing Director for Northern Europe, told MSPs that hosts are “baffled” by the proposals as she seeks to highlight the impact of short-term rentals on the tourism economy .
Police Scotland also contributed to the committee’s investigation, raising concerns about the crime associated with short-term rentals. He said some of these properties had been used for drug trafficking, prostitution and as fronts for puppy breeding operations.
In a report released today, the committee said it believed police and councils need more power to tackle anti-social behavior and crime.
“The Committee also notes the preference for a registration regime as expressed to it by certain witnesses.
“A minority of members found these arguments convincing and would prefer there to be a registration system, seeing it as a more proportionate response,” the report said.
“A majority of members, however, believed in the need for a licensing regime primarily on the basis that a registration regime would not give local authorities and the Scottish Police the powers they need to fight antisocial behavior and criminality associated with certain short-term rentals. “
The document noted that the impact of short-term rentals on the tourism sector was unclear and underscored the importance of a review taking place in 2023.
The committee also considered submissions from Community Land Scotland and a petition from tenants union Living Rent, which wanted to see the powers needed to tackle the over-provisioning of short-term rentals reintroduced into legislation.
The committee’s MSPs said it was not possible to change the current licensing order and said the matter should be reconsidered during the Scottish Government’s review in 2023.
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