AirBnb properties are planning to shut because of SNP's new scheme.

Half of AirBnb-style properties in Scotland are planning to shut because of SNP’s looming new licensing scheme.

  • Ministers set to inflict costly and complex scheme on owners of holiday homes and bed and breakfasts 
  • Now survey shows 64 per cent of businesses questioned have not applied for a licence – with just a fortnight until deadline 

Nearly half of self-catering operators are planning to shut because of the SNP’s looming short-term lets licensing, a new survey has revealed.

Just 38 per cent actually applied for a licence despite the October 1 cut-off, with campaigners issuing renewed warnings about the havoc the plans will wreak on the tourism industry.

SNP ministers are set to inflict a costly and complex licensing scheme on owners of holiday homes, bed and breakfasts and AirBnb-style properties.

But a survey of 1,848 businesses found that almost two thirds (64 per cent) have not applied, with less than a fortnight to go until the deadline – risking fines of up to £2,500.

 Campaigners from “Save Self Catering in Scotland” gathered outside the Scottish Parliament to protest new regulations that would impose a licensing scheme on short-term lets

Nearly half of self catering operators are planning to close due to SNP’s new laws

Fiona Campbell, Chief Executive of the Association of Scotland’s Self-Caterers

Only 53 per cent of businesses plan to remain open – representing a potential loss of over 6,200 bed spaces just among those businesses who responded to the survey by the Association of Scotland’s Self-Caterers (ASSC).

Fiona Campbell, chief executive of the ASSC, said: ‘These survey results indicate small tourism accommodation providers have little to no confidence in the licensing scheme.

‘They remain concerned about a whole range of issues, from extortionate fees to the sharing of personal information. Operators are already leaving the sector with many more poised to follow suit.

‘Time is running out. The Scottish Government need to pause their disastrous scheme and get a grip of the situation with an urgent review before it is too late.

‘The self-catering sector stands ready to work with ministers and officials to put in place a fair, proportionate and legally sound regulatory framework.’

Last week, SNP and Green MSPs at Holyrood voted down calls for the imposition of the scheme to be delayed, with the housing minister declaring it was not ‘too much to ask’ of holiday property operators.

During the last-ditch attempt to postpone the regulations, Tory housing spokesman Murdo Fraser said: ‘The botched introduction of this licensing scheme poses an existential threat to Scotland’s tourist industry and a host of unintended consequences which could cost thousands of jobs.’

Housing minister Paul McLennan replied: ‘We are a government that believes in fair regulation and we do not believe that asking short-term operators to comply with mandated conditions and completing licensing applications is too much to ask.’

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