A PAISLEY councillor has praised a decision to allow councils to introduce licensing schemes for short-term lets from next year.

The Scottish Government has announced Renfrewshire Council and other local authorities in Scotland will be given new powers to regulate short-term lets where they decide it is in the interests of communities.

The move will enable councils to improve safety and assist with the effective handling of complaints.

Councillor Kenny MacLaren, who represents Paisley Northwest on Renfrewshire Council, welcomed the decision after several constituents contacted him regarding issues with Air BnB venues.

He said: “This is a good move by the SNP Scottish Government, one which will help local communities who come under pressure from short-term lets such as Air BnB.

“This move will be welcomed by constituents who have contacted me regarding issues they are having with Air BnB premises within their local community.

“Although short-term lets can bring some positive benefits in terms of bringing tourists into the area there can be a knock-on impact on issues such as littering and noise complaints from ‘party flats’.”

Cllr MacLaren said he had already been in contact with the director of housing at Renfrewshire Council following complaints from consituents about Air BnB venues in Paisley, with some expressing concern for their safety and problems with litter building up.

Until the full legislation is in place, it is understood the director of housing is looking into how the council can deal with any problems arising from short-term lets in the meantime.

The licensing scheme will include a new mandatory safety requirement that will cover every type of short-term let to ensure a safe, quality experience for visitors.

It will also give councils the discretion to apply further conditions to address the concerns of residents.

Councils will be able to designate control areas to ensure planning permission will always be required for the change of use of whole properties for short-term lets.

Local Government Minister Kevin Stewart said: “Short-term lets can offer people a flexible travel option and have contributed positively to Scotland’s tourism industry and local economies across the country.

“However, we know in certain areas, high numbers of short-term lets are causing problems and often make it harder for people to find homes to live in.

“That is why we are empowering local authorities to implement a system that works for their area.”

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