Midlothian North MSP, Colin Beattie, has given his backing to an announcement from the First Minister that councils will be handed powers to regulate and control short term holiday lets.
The move follows concerns that the number of short term accommodation lets in Midlothian, offered by platforms such as Airbnb, is restricting the volume of available residential properties available in tourist destinations.
Mr Beattie (SNP) is encouraging local residents to have their say on the Scottish Government’s plans as part of an online consultation that runs until July 19.
The proposal is part of a package of new housing initiatives announced at the SNP’s spring conference in Edinburgh last month – including a new £150 million scheme to help young people get on the property market with loans of up to £25,000 available to assist with a deposit for a new home.
Commenting on the announcement, Mr Beattie said: “While short term letting sites, such as Airbnb, have helped contribute to Scotland’s booming tourism industry they are making it harder for people in city centres, and tourism hotspots, to find permanent homes to live in.
“The SNP Government is looking to pro-actively tackle this issue by handing councils the power to control the number of lets and ensure they make a contribution to the local services they use.
“I’ve heard from many constituents who are concerned about this issue, and I would encourage everyone to ensure their views are heard before the consultation closes.”
The consultation can be found by searching ‘Scot Gov short term lets consultation’ online, or at https://consult.gov.scot/housing-services-policy-unit/short-term-lets/consultation/subpage.2016-07-07.1474135251/.