THE Scottish Conservatives opposition to short-term let regulation in Scotland has been “undermined” after the UK Government announced it would bring in similar legislation in England.

On Monday, Michael Gove announced that planning permission would now be required for future short-term lets in England and that a mandatory national register would be set up to provide local authorities with information about the number of short-term lets in their area.

A similar licencing scheme for short-term lets came into force in Scotland in October despite considerable efforts to delay the scheme by the Scottish Conservatives.

The law aimed to tackle the housing crisis in cities such as Edinburgh where an abundance of short-term lets contributed to a lack of permanent housing availability for residents.

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Lobbying groups claimed the legislation would harm Scotland’s tourism industry, with owner of a short-term let agency claiming it would make the country “a laughing stock around the world”.

The Tories then moved to delay the introduction of the legislation by an entire year.

Despite being supported by both Scottish Labour and the Scottish LibDems, the attempt was unsuccessful.

Aditi Jehangir, secretary of tenants’ union Living Rent, said the UK legislation showed the need to stop “political point scoring” over the housing crisis.

She told The National: "The undermining of Scottish Conservatives' opposition to regulation in the short-term let industry by their own party down south highlights the obvious truth: residents across the UK need short term let regulation.

The National: The abundance of short-term lets in Edinburgh had become a problem for residentsThe abundance of short-term lets in Edinburgh had become a problem for residents

“Across the UK, the housing crisis is out of control and the unchecked surge in holiday lets over the past decade has made this worse. Our cities and villages are not tourist attractions – they are living communities and residents deserve stability and security.

“The actions of conservatives down south should force the Scottish Conservatives to put their weight behind short-term let regulation, leave political point scoring to one side, ignore the lobbyists and listen to the needs of tenants and residents."

Gove acknowledged that within some areas “many local families and young people feel they are being shut out of the housing market and denied the opportunity to rent or buy in their own community”.

UK Government ministers are expected to set out more detailed information about legislation over the coming months, with it coming into force in England over the summer.

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Scottish Conservative MSP Murdo Fraser said: “Alongside small businesses and the tourism industry, we repeatedly warned the SNP-Green government about how flawed their short-term legislation was.

“They typically believed they knew best, even when operators quit their own working group on the issue.

“Ministers continued to ignore their concerns and ploughed ahead with their one size fits all approach, rather than listening to sensible calls to pause their plans.

“By contrast the UK Government’s proposals have been welcomed by the self-catering industry which shows what can be achieved by working constructively with those who will be affected by new rules.”