More than 100 property owners in Renfrewshire have joined a controversial new scheme aimed at controlling the number of homes being leased to tourists.

The Scottish Government launched its short-term lets initiative last year to deal with with the rapid growth of Airbnb-style properties.

Renfrewshire Council has revealed a total of 120 licence applications have been received locally since the scheme was introduced in October 2022.

Those who failed to lodge an application to register their property were warned they face a fine of up to £2,500 for non-compliance.

The new rules apply to all types of properties which are leased for short periods and include people who house swap.

All dwellings will in future be subject to safety inspections by council officials.

As part of the scheme, each local authority can levy its own licence fee.

Separate figures published by the Scottish Government last week show that, across the country as a whole, 4,761 licence applications had been made in the nine-month period up to June 30 this year but just 19 of those were received by Renfrewshire Council.

A council spokesperson told The Gazette: “These figures only relate to the end of June and do not incorporate the significant number of applications we have received since which have met the October 1 deadline.

"The number of applications received is broadly in line with our expectations.”

The Association of Scotland’s Self-Caterers (ASSC) has claimed the new law will affect tourism and visitor numbers, with fewer places for people to stay.

Several MSPs, including the SNP’s Fergus Ewing, Labour’s Daniel Johnson and Lib Dem Willie Rennie, as well as Miles Briggs and Murdo Fraser, of the Scottish Conservatives, have called for the licence rollout to be paused.

The local authorities with the highest number of licence applications in the first nine months of the scheme were Highland, Fife and Dumfries & Galloway.

People offering short-term lets through the likes of Airbnb will not be able to operate without a licence after January 2025.

Licences must be renewed every three years.

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “Licensing of short-term lets will, for the first time, mean we have reliable and up-to-date data about the sector in Scotland.”