Glasgow could see a crackdown on Airbnb-style rentals as new licensing rules draw near

The number of short-term rentals in Glasgow could soon be reduced as stricter rules regarding their licensing are expected to be introduced.

Under new legislation introduced by the Scottish Government, Glasgow City Council must put in place a licensing scheme for Short-Term Rentals (STLs) by October this year. The local authority has now published a draft of its policy before putting it out for public consultation.

The new guidelines could see a number of changes implemented for those already operating and looking to operate a short-term rental. Local councils are now preparing to process tens of thousands of applications.

What falls under a short-term rental?

Short-term rental refers to the use of residential accommodation provided by a host in connection with a business activity to a guest.

Therefore, the new rules will apply to a range of properties, including single rooms, bed and breakfasts, guesthouses and independent properties like those of Airbnb. It also includes smaller accommodations like caravans, glamping pods and yurts.

What will new or existing STL operators need to do?

From October all short term rentals will need to be licensed by the Licensing Authority.

The license will be based on compliance with a series of safety standards and will be presented to representatives of the police, fire services, environmental health and planning officers for comment.

Starting in October, new hosts can advertise their property but cannot accept reservations or guests until they have obtained the license.

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Existing hosts and operators who were taking reservations before October 2022 will have until April 1, 2023 to apply for their license. They will be allowed to operate for the license period being determined.

Glasgow City Council has proposed it will cost between £125 and £400 to apply depending on the property.

What happens if the application is rejected?

The draft policy outlines a number of reasons why an STL might be rejected. Reasons include it’s not suitable for the location, condition, it could possibly cause “undue public nuisance” or impact public safety

If an applicant is denied their STL license, they cannot apply for another within one year of the first denial, unless circumstances change.

Will there be any exemptions?

Although not yet confirmed, temporary exemptions could be granted when national events take place across Glasgow to allow hosts to rent out their property.

As seen at the COP26 summit, short-term rentals can be vital for accommodating large numbers of visitors to the city. With an application for a temporary license, there would be no requirement to post a site notice, or the ability to receive objections and representations other than those of persons lawfully viewed. The only bodies the licensing authority would consult under the legislation are Police Scotland and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.

However, the draft indicates that the Committee can accept that no temporary exemptions be granted as this would defeat the purpose of ensuring safety standards in STLs.

The local authority is required by law to keep the temporary exemption policy under review and publish it every three years.

Short-term control zones

Under Scottish Government rules, local authorities have the power to introduce gated areas where short-term rentals will only be allowed in someone’s main residence, otherwise planning permission will be required.

There are currently no control areas in Glasgow.

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The draft proposals will now go to the licensing and regulation committee and, if given the green light, will be made available to the public.


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