A reworking of Scotland’s short-term lets law has come under fire as details of its remit were quietly published.

It includes a move to allow some short-term holiday lets operators exemption from having a licence under the new regulations for up to six weeks a year.

This is thought to be a move earlier revealed in The Herald to bring temporary exemptions for short-term lets licenses to help tackle a shortage of holiday or festival accommodation in places like the Scottish capital.

There is also a proposal to go through the Scottish Parliament to allow licences to be transferred to a new host when accommodation is sold.

It also suggests that prospective hosts building a new short-term let could apply for a provisional licence before construction is complete.

The Herald: There are concerns over the shortage of accommodation for performers and visitors during Edinburgh's festivalsThere are concerns over the shortage of accommodation for performers and visitors during Edinburgh's festivals (Image: Newsquest)

The scheme, aimed at helping tackle issues around housing pressures and antisocial behaviour, has been heavily criticised within the tourism industry.

The Scottish Tourism Alliance said that around 10 per cent of such holiday accommodation had been lost as a result of the rules many say are too costly and complicated, while it appears to have had little impact on the national housing crisis which has since been declared an emergency.

Paul McLennan, Minister for Housing, said: “Since we introduced the licensing scheme I have continually engaged with operators and the wider tourism industry to understand how it is working. These regulations are in response to, and have been refined through, that engagement.

“If passed by the Scottish Parliament, the regulations will support new businesses through the timely transfer of licences between operators and the consideration of new short-term lets at an earlier stage of their development.”

The Association of Scotland’s Self-Caterers said the move did not address wider concerns within the tourism industry and has asked for a meeting with Kate Forbes, Cabinet Secretary for the Economy and Deputy First Minister. “This amendment falls way short of what is required to help existing self-catering owners survive and thrive into the future,” said Fiona Campbell of the ASSC. “It provides little more than minor tinkering around the edges rather than the positive change necessary for a key component of Scottish tourism that boosts the economy by £1 billion per annum.”
 
She added: “The ASSC has requested a meeting with the Cabinet Secretary for Economy and we will recommend that the amendment is withdrawn until she has fully engaged with industry on this matter.”

Read more on this topic:

'Tourism faces irreversible damage from short term let law'

Tour operators struggle to find accommodation in Scotland

Scotland's crackdown on Airbnb-style holiday homes hits legal buffers

The Scottish chief of Barratt Developments has called for action to boost housebuilding activity in Scotland, as he highlighted his concern over current rental policy for the private rented sector, deputy business editor Scott Wright reveals.

Douglas McLeod, regional managing director for the housebuilding giant north of the Border, said changes are required both to release more land for building and to ensure the private rented sector is attractive to investors.

Also this week, business correspondent Kristy Dorsey writes about evidence that “homebuyers are increasingly being forced to gamble with their retirement prospects by taking on ultra-long mortgages that last beyond the end of their working lives”.

Elsewhere, an engineering firm run by father and son Dougie and Fraser Gibson has revealed ambitions to build the workforce at a “world-famous” site in Glasgow into the thousands over the next decade, reports business editor Ian McConnell.

Gibson's Engineering, which is engaged in train manufacturing, maintenance and repairs, said it is “immensely proud” of its new engineering facility at the St Rollox rail depot in Springburn, Glasgow.