The new national planning framework in Scotland has implications for applications across the country — and short-term lets are no exception.

If you’re considering setting up a property, or part of your home, as a short-term let you’ll need to bear this in mind.

The background

From February 13 this year, the Scottish Government’s new National Planning Framework 4 (NPF4) underpinned our planning system. It sets out how our communities can develop and affects all aspects of planning.

Specifically, for short-term let landlords, the new rules will have a significant impact on any change of use applications in control areas. There’s one in Edinburgh at the moment, with another proposed for Badenoch and Strathspey.

NPF4’s policy 30 (e) says proposals won’t be supported if they mean an “unacceptable impact on local amenity or the character of the neighbourhood or area” or if the loss of residential accommodation isn’t outweighed by demonstrable, local economic benefits.

What does this mean for short-term let landlords?

You may find neither City of Edinburgh nor — in due course — Highland Council will grant your application until you have provided a planning statement on how you comply with these requirements.

And it’s likely even if you submitted an application before 13 February, but it’s still under consideration, that the City of Edinburgh will make its decision in line with NPF4 policies.

We’ll have to wait and see just how specific and onerous each local authority will expect these planning statements to be; however, it is another hurdle for potential short-term let landlords to clear.

If you’re considering applying for permission to set up a business like this, our team can help. You can also read more commentary from our experts here on our website