The South of Scotland Destination Alliance (SSDA) has teamed up with the Association of Scotland’s Self-Caterers (ASSC) to help owners of B&Bs, unlicensed guest houses and holiday lets across the South of Scotland to prepare for new regulations concerning short-term lets.

Businesses in the South of Scotland must ensure they are fully informed about new national short-term lets licensing legislation, which is due to come into effect across the country on 1 October 2022.

Under the legislation, all local authorities in Scotland will be required to establish a short-term lets licensing scheme by October 2022. Existing hosts and operators will have until 1 April 2023 to apply for a licence for each property that they operate as a short-term let.

All short-term lets in Scotland will require a licence by 1 July 2024.

Two in-person sessions have been organised as part of the ASSC Regulations Roadshow on Thursday 1 September, in Dumfries and Galashiels. These events are open to operators of all short-term lets – including AirBnBs, holiday cottages, glamping pods and more – as well as representatives from local authorities, agencies and anyone with an interest in the implementation of the legislation.  Free to SSDA members, the roadshows are an opportunity for business owners to find out what the legal requirements for letting a holiday property are, and how the new licensing laws in Scotland will work.

Run in conjunction with Gilson Gray LLP, the events are aimed at short-term let business operators, stakeholders and industry professionals who want to understand the next steps for short-term let licensing regulations in Scotland.

Fiona Campbell, ASSC Chief Executive, and Joanna Millar, Legal Director with Gilson Gray LLP will outline what owners need to know about the new regulations and give them an opportunity to ask questions about the legislation.

Melanie Allen, Interim Chief Executive of the SSDA, said: “The short-term let sector plays a hugely important role in bringing visitors to the South of Scotland, with thousands of stunning and unique places to stay right across the region.  It’s vital that all businesses operating in this sphere are fully informed about the new legislation that’s about to come into effect across Scotland so that they can adapt and thrive, which is why we are delighted to team up with the ASSC to host these in-person events so people can learn more and have their questions answered by the ASSC’s legal experts.”

Fiona Campbell, Chief Executive of the ASSC, said: “Short-term lets and self-catering properties are a key component of the Scottish tourism industry and play a vital role in generating revenue for towns and communities the length and breadth of the country. With this new legislation looming, the ASSC is doing everything it can to make sure all business owners who’ll be affected by the changes have all the information they need. We look forward to working with the SSDA to welcome and advise short-term let businesses in the South of Scotland at our events in Dumfries and Galashiels on 1 September.”

Melanie Allen added: “The roadshows will also be a great opportunity for SSDA non-members to find out more about the advantages of joining. Membership of the SSDA is open to all tourism, hospitality and leisure businesses and organisations across the South of Scotland – or even anyone who loves our region and wants to invest in its future. Joining us will bring many benefits to individual businesses, our local destination and sector marketing groups, suppliers and members of the community.”

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