SHORT-TERM let hosts in the Wee County will have more time to apply for licences after the deadline has been extended by the government last week.

As previously reported, short-term let hosts in Clackmannanshire will be regulated after a scheme was approved by councillors in December.

The local authority was required to introduce such a scheme by law after new legislative provisions were inserted into the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 at Holyrood.

The scheme was brought in by the Scottish Government in a bid to ensure short term lets are safe while addressing issues faced by neighbours, balancing economic and tourism benefits against community concerns.

Originally, operators of short term lets were to apply for a licence before April 1 this year.

The government last week announced it has laid legislation to extend the deadline by six months, to October 1, 2023.

Housing secretary Shona Robison said: “We are taking a pragmatic approach to help support hosts in recognition of the wider cost of living crisis that is placing pressure on businesses.

“This one-off six-month extension will give businesses more time to spread the cost of the licence fee and meet the scheme requirements.

“The principal component of our licensing scheme is a mandatory set of safety standards which many hosts will already be meeting as a matter of best practice or compliance with existing law.

“Our scheme gives local authorities the powers to strike a balance between the economic and tourism benefits of short-term lets and community concerns.

“Many hosts have already applied for a licence. I encourage those that have yet to do so to apply for a licence well in advance of the extended deadline.”

At a Clackmannanshire Council meeting on December 1, elected members heard that out of an estimated 70 short term let businesses in the Wee County, none at that time had applied for such a licence so far.

While no one had applied, the meeting did hear that operators had been raising queries, which was reflected in the draft policy put in front of councillors on the day.

The extension by the government applies to those who operated short term lets before October 1 in 2022.

New hosts most apply for and obtain a licence before accepting any bookings.

When the scheme was approved in Clacks last December, Cllr Jane McTaggart said: “This legislation should be welcomed as it will regulate and rationalise all short term lets, except for those excluded.

“It will further ensure that those types of properties in our areas are safe for occupation, that the owners take full responsibility, that they cause no disruption to our residents and are compliant with all essential health and safety measures.”