Labour MSPs have been warned against “rank hypocrisy and shameless opportunism” after suggestions they could change their tune and oppose Scotland’s already-delayed plans to crack down on Airbnb-style short-term lets.

The Scottish Conservatives are forcing a last-ditch vote on whether to further delay the licensing plans for short-term lets past the October 1 deadline at Holyrood today, despite the Scottish Government repeatedly rejecting calls for another extension.

SNP Housing Minister Paul McLennan has warned that operators who fail to sign up to the scheme before the October 1 deadline could receive a £2,500 fine if they continue operating.

As of September 5, data from 27 council public registers showed 3,537 licences have already been granted, while a further 3,643 are being considered.

The minister said no applications have been refused and transitional arrangements are in place to allow hosts to continue operating while they await approval.

Read more: SNP accused of 'demonising' short-term let owners over regulation

Ahead of Wednesday’s vote for a further 12-month delay, rural business organisation Scottish Land & Estates (SLE) has added its voice to calls for the deadline for businesses to apply for a short-term let licence to be extended.

SLE claimed that measures to comply with licensing, such as obtaining various types of certifications, were simply unfeasible for many businesses given the shortage of contractors in rural Scotland.

It added that many members were facing six-month waits or more to be able to get a booking arranged with tradespeople.

Stephen Young, director of policy at SLE, said: “Rural Scotland, far more than urban areas, is heavily dependent on tourism for its economic and community success.

“If the Scottish Government chooses to proceed on the path it is on, it may well be to blame for hundreds if not thousands of these businesses closing, with the resulting impacts on other local businesses such as retail and hospitality also needing to be factored in.”

Read more: Scotland short-term lets: Glasgow, Edinburgh numbers low

But Scottish Greens housing spokesperson, Ariane Burgess has insisted that the legislation “has been a long-time coming” adding that “it will make a real difference”.

She added: “It is a watershed moment for housing in Scotland. Everyone should have access to a warm and affordable home.

“There is, of course, a place for well-managed holiday lets. Yet, from villages in the Highlands and Islands to busy tenement stairwells of our cities, homes are being crowded out by holiday lets. This is driving up prices and hollowing out our communities.

“The debate has focused a lot on the views of holiday let owners, but it is also vital that we hear from the families who are coping with increasing rents, the young people striving to get their first home and the community groups who want to see a better balance between weekly stays and more stable communities.”

Three Labour MSPs, including Edinburgh’s Daniel Johnson, have backed calls for an extension of the deadline for businesses.

Read more: Edinburgh City Council's Airbnb crackdown plans ruled 'unlawful'

Ms Burgess said: “It is no surprise what side the Tories have picked in this debate, but today’s vote will be a big test for Labour and the Liberal Democrats.

“The Labour Welsh Government is introducing a similar scheme based on the Scottish example. I hope that Labour MSPs put principle ahead of party-politics and support the changes which have been four years in the making. Anything else would be rank hypocrisy and shameless opportunism.”

Fiona Campbell, CEO of the Association of Scotland’s Self-Caterers, said: “Short-term let licensing is not a panacea to housing challenges and any suggestion that it is risks giving false hope to communities.

“Instead, we need a holistic and evidence-based approach to solving the housing crisis, not simplistic solutions targeted at small businesses who provide a significant economic boost, particularly in rural and remote areas.

“Regulating holiday lets out of existence will not lead to a flood of affordable homes on the market. In fact, it will likely lead to increased second home ownership with no commensurate economic benefit that you see with self-catering and B&Bs.

“The similarities between the Scottish Government’s policy and the proposed Welsh scheme ends at the word ‘licensing’. The ASSC would gladly support the fair, low cost and responsible system from the Welsh Government in place of what we have in Scotland which is unworkable at best and unlawful at worst.”