Owners of Glasgow Airbnb properties will need to apply for licences

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Owners of Airbnb properties will need to apply for a licence after Glasgow council agreed to new regulations.

Anyone running a short-term let (STL) will need to abide by compulsory conditions and pay costs under the regime.

Licences will be required from April 2024. Owners have until April 2023 to apply for the new licences, while current operators can carry on letting their premises during this period.

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The cost of a licence, which will run for three years, will range from £125 to £400 depending on the type of property being let.

Airbnb owners will need a licence.Airbnb owners will need a licence.
Airbnb owners will need a licence. | Daniel Krasoń - stock.adobe.com

It will be a criminal offence to run a STL without a licence and a public register of licence holders will be kept by the council.

Public consultation on the policy was held over the summer, receiving 282 responses, and the city’s licensing committee has now approved the document.

Changes have been made following the consultation process and it has been agreed that no temporary exemptions or temporary licences will be granted.

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However, the council may allow temporary exemptions for national events in the city. Temporary licences are not accepted to allow for a full statutory consultation process with each application.

Cllr Alex Wilson, the licensing committee chairman, said: “I want to thank our licensing team for all their hard work in gathering all the responses and putting together this policy on short-term lets.

“I think it’s welcome from the Scottish Government to give us the ability to licence these properties and in the light of health and safety, I think it makes a lot of sense.”

Anyone running a STL in Glasgow before October 1 this year has until April 1, 2023, to apply for a licence. They can continue to operate in this period but will have to stop if the application is refused, subject to appeal.

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Property owners not using their premises as a STL before October 1 can advertise but cannot take bookings or welcome guests until they are licensed. Applications can be submitted from October 1.

There will be four types of STL: secondary letting, home letting, home sharing or home letting and home sharing.

A new three-year licence for a home letting or sharing for four guests or under will cost £125 while for five or more visitors it will cost £275. If the property is a secondary letting, the fee will be £250 for four or fewer guests and £400 for five or over.

Renewals will range from £75 to £350 depending on the property. Any application to vary a licence will cost £75.

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Five-year renewals will be granted if there are no objections/representations and no enforcement action has been required during the previous grant period.

Reasons for refusing, suspending or revoking a licence include if the owner or manager of the property is “no longer a fit and proper person to hold a licence” or if the continued operation of a short-term let is “causing or likely to cause undue public nuisance or a threat to public order or public safety”.

The suitability of the premises, including its condition and the “kind of persons” likely to be staying, will be considered before an application is granted

Applicants will also need to display a notice near their premises to show they are bidding for a licence. Police Scotland, Scottish Fire and Rescue, councillors and community councils will be consulted on applications.

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Objections can be submitted within 28 days and will lead to a hearing where “applicants and objectors will be given an equal opportunity to be heard”. Appeals against refused applications can be made to the Sheriff Court within 28 days.

Licences can be suspended immediately if the council, following advice from the police or fire service, decide there is “a serious threat to public order or public safety”. A hearing would then be held to decide whether to suspend the licence for a further period, revoke the licence or take no more action.

Owners must have up to date fire, gas and electrical safety certificates, pay their share of maintenance costs in common properties, carry out regular inspections for defects and provide emergency contact details to neighbours.

A pre-requisite for applying for a home letting or secondary letting STL licence, where the premises is a flat, is the applicant must have planning permission or a certificate of lawfulness from the council.

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The new regime will allow STL control areas to be introduced, which would mean all STLs in the zone would require planning permission. It would be a planning decision, not licensing, to roll out a control area.

The policy can be viewed at: https://www.glasgow.gov.uk/councillorsandcommittees/viewDoc.asp?c=P62AFQDNZLUTZLZL81

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