Holiday lets (also known as short term lets) reduce the housing stock for residents of the Highlands, pushing up rents and property prices, and worsening the regions housing crisis. In short, they are ripping Scotland’s communities apart. In some rural area's, there are now more holiday lets than residential homes for rent.
But it doesn’t have to be like this.
The Highland Council are asking the public for views on how best to balance out the numbers of Homes against Holiday lets, and together we can make sure we win real protections for our communities. Members of Living Rent across the Highland Council area have been working hard to look at the proposals and how they can better serve the communities that they seek to protect.
A Short-Term Let (STL) Control area WILL now be put in place in Highland Council Ward 20, Badenoch and Strathspey. It's also been made clear that this is a pilot control area, with Highland Councillors looking to roll it out across the region. So if you live within the Highland Council boundaries (please ensure to include your postcode when signing), it's important to make your voice heard NOW in this consultation period.
Below is our petition to gather support for our response to the consultation.
Sign below and endorse our demands.
BRING the number of Short-Term lets DOWN
Have a mechanism in place to ensure short term lets will never account for more than a maximum percentage of homes in any ward.
ALWAYS restrict the lifespan of planning permission
Make sure that there is community control over extending the lifespan of STL's in their area, by having time limits on short term let permissions.
PROTECT residential centres for residents
Maximum Limits on the number of homes above commercial properties to be allowed to be converted to short term lets.
FIRST RIGHT OF REFUSAL for communities on empty properties and homes with 4 bedrooms or more
Communities must be able to refuse planning permission for empty properties and homes with over 4 bedrooms. All other options of use MUST be exhausted before short term let permission is granted. There should be a one year public notice time to allow the council, housing associations, people seeking residence, or community buy outs etc.
Monetary Contributions WILL be sought for loss of homes and the contributions will benefit local communities
Short term let landlords should contribute towards providing affordable housing, transport for residents and local infrastructure, with a focus on community benefits.