Those involved in the running of self-catering businesses in Inverness and the surrounding area were able to learn about the soon to be introduced licensing scheme for short-term lets at a Regulations Roadshow held by the Association of Scotland’s Self-Caterers (ASSC).
Taking place at the Kingsmills Hotel in Inverness on 21st July, the event was funded by Visit Inverness Loch Ness (VILN) and aimed to support operators and the wider tourism sector as this new legislation is implemented.
From 1st October 2022, anyone looking to operate a short-term let for the first time will need a licence before they do so, according to the new licensing regime being introduced by Scottish Government.
Those already operating short-term lets before 1st October 2022 must apply for a licence by 1st April 2023 if they wish to continue doing so.
In addition, the planning laws on short-term letting introduce a new power for local authorities to designate the whole or any part of their area as a short-term let control area.
The legislation was developed after residents across Scotland raised significant concerns about the impact of short-term lets on their communities, including noise, antisocial behaviour and the impact on the supply of housing.
It is hoped the new legislation will ensure the needs and concerns of communities are balanced with wider economic and tourism benefits.
To help short-term let operators navigate through the legislation, Fiona Campbell, Chief Executive of ASSC, and Joanna Millar, a Legal Director with Gilson Gray LLP, presented the session and answered questions from attendees.
Commenting on the event, Fiona Campbell, Chief Executive of ASSC, said:
“We were delighted to see the incredible turnout at the Inverness and Loch Ness Regulations Roadshow.
“There was great engagement throughout the session, and we hope the businesses feel better informed about the upcoming new regulations.
“It is critical we support self-catering businesses that are vital to the local economy.
“The sector brings over a quarter of a million people a year to Inverness and Loch Ness, with over a million visitor days and an estimated £112 million to the local economy.
“We will continue to work with Visit Inverness Loch Ness to help businesses navigate this challenging time and help the recovery of local businesses.”
Michael Golding, CEO of Visit Inverness Loch Ness, added:
“The ASSC has been a shining light throughout the pandemic and given incredible support to the sector and its members.
“We were delighted to work with Fiona and the team to bring this must-attend roadshow about short-term lets to Inverness.
“More businesses booked for the Inverness event than for any locations, including Edinburgh, which just goes to show how important self-catering is to the area.
“The roadshow has helped to inform those in attendance about the complexities of the upcoming regulations.
“We will continue to work closely with the ASSC and our members to ensure the sector continues to thrive.”
For further information on ASSC, the legislation and upcoming roadshows, visit: https://www.assc.co.uk/assc-events/regulations-roadshows/