Short-term Glasgow allows Airbnb to need license under agreed terms

Owners of Airbnb properties will need to apply for a license after Glasgow City Council agrees to new regulations.

Anyone operating a short-term rental (STL) will be required to meet the mandatory terms and pay the scheme fees.

Licenses will be required from April 2024. Landlords have until April 2023 to apply for the new licenses, while current operators can continue to rent their premises during this period.

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

Operating an STL without a permit will be a criminal offense and a public register of permit holders will be maintained by the town hall.

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

Amendments were made following the consultation process and it was agreed that no temporary exemptions or temporary licenses will be granted.

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

Cllr Alex Wilson, Chair of the Licensing Committee, said: “I would like to thank our Licensing team for all their hard work in collecting all the answers and putting together this short term rentals policy.

“I think the Scottish Government is welcome to give us the option to license these properties and in light of health and safety I think that makes a lot of sense.”

Anyone operating an STL in Glasgow before October 1 this year has until April 1, 2023 to apply for a licence. They can continue to operate during this period but must cease if the request is refused, under penalty of appeal.

Owners not using their premises as an STL before October 1 can advertise but cannot take reservations or host guests until they are licensed. Applications can be submitted from October 1st.

There will be four types of STL: secondary tenancy, home tenancy, colocation or home tenancy and colocation.

A new three-year license for rental or home-sharing for four or fewer people will cost £125 while for five or more visitors it will cost £275. If the property is a secondary rental, the charge will be £250 for four or fewer people and £400 for five or more people.

Renewals will range from £75 to £350 depending on the property. Any license amendment request will cost £75.

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

Grounds for refusing, suspending or revoking a license include if the owner or manager of the property is “no longer a fit and proper person to hold a license” or if the continued operation of a short-term rental “causes or is 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 ‘type of people’ likely to be staying, will be reviewed before an application is granted.

Applicants will also be required to post a notice near their premises to show that they are bidding for a license. Police Scotland, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, Councilors and Community Councils will be consulted on applications.

Objections can be submitted within 28 days and will proceed to a hearing at which “plaintiffs and opponents will have an equal opportunity to be heard”. Appeals against refused applications can be lodged in the Sheriff Court within 28 days.

Licenses can be suspended immediately if the council, after advice from the police or fire department, decides that there is “a serious threat to public order or public safety”. A hearing would then take place to decide whether to suspend the license for a further period, revoke the license or do nothing further.

Landlords must have up-to-date fire, gas and electricity certificates, pay their share of common property maintenance costs, carry out regular inspections for defects and provide emergency contact details to neighbours.

A prerequisite for applying for an STL house rental or secondary rental license, when the premises is an apartment, is that the applicant must have a planning permit or a certificate of legality from the municipality.

The new regime will allow the introduction of STL Control Zones, which would mean that all STLs in the zone would require planning permission. It would be a planning decision, not an authorization, to deploy a zone of control.

The policy can be viewed on the council’s website website.

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