It covers short-term lets ranging from castles to cottages, tenements to tipis.

The deadline day for registration under the Scottish Government short-term lets legislation is approaching as the first regime of its kind in Scotland remains mired in controversy.

The new law is in response to the impact of the rise of unregulated Airbnb-style short-term lets, including the effects on the supply of housing and concern over anti-social behaviour.

In the UK the number has gone from 83,000 Airbnb listings in 2016 to 339,000 this year.

In some places, like Edinburgh, there has been a significant local rise in the number of Airbnb lets, which increased from eight in 2009 to 9,000 in 2017. It is estimated there are now 12,000 short-term lets in the Scottish capital.

While welcomed by many in communities where homes availability has decreased, the scheme has come under criticism from the self-catering industry, which has warned over the cost of complying with the system and planning constraints.

Under the new legislation, from October 1 all short-term lets need to have applied for a licence.

The Herald:

Even if hosts occasionally let out a spare room or sub-let while on holiday, the licence is a legal obligation, and operating without a licence could bring a £2,500 fine and a ban.

The Scottish Government said this “will ensure there is a mandatory set of standards that apply to all short-term lets across Scotland”. 

The regulations cover four types licence, which are “home sharing”, which means renting out all or part of your own home while you are living there, “home letting” where letting all or part of your own home while you are not there - for example while you are on holiday – “secondary letting”, which means letting a property where you do not normally live such as a second home or holiday let, and “home letting and home sharing”, where you let out all or part of your own home both while you are living there and also at times when you are not there.

With just 24 days left to register, figures in some areas remain low. It has been suggested many may yet come forward but there are concerns some will quit the sector rather than tackle the red-tape and expense.

The Herald has been covering issues around Airbnb-style short-term lets from the Scottish capital since they first emerged.

This week, we drill into the debate that has divided Scottish communities and prompted the new legislation.

In our special series, starting tomorrow, we examine both sides of the argument, speaking to people who spearheaded the law and its opponents who have called for its introduction to be paused.