LAST week, the Association of Scotland’s Self-Caterers (ASSC) raised concerns about several potential illegalities in Scotland’s short-term lets licensing scheme, due to come into force on October 1.

They raised 14 red flags, including operators now leaving the sector.

While I agree that short-term lets need some light-touch regulation, the SNP-Green plan is a sledgehammer to crack a nut.

The short-term lets licensing scheme would also apply to guest houses and B&Bs, with a presumption against granting licences for secondary lets within tenement blocks.

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B&Bs and guest houses would be at risk under the scheme, as those seeking a mortgage would not be able to operate without a licence, making the sale of B&Bs and guest houses where a mortgage is required challenging.

In Edinburgh, a judicial review in May found that legitimate short-let businesses would be forced to apply for but not achieve planning permission through the scheme, taking away livelihoods from legal operators.

This would have a considerable impact on East Lothian’s local economy by shutting off accommodation options for tourists, traders and those in need of emergency accommodation.

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It will damage local high street businesses and businesses reliant on tourism, as well as taking livelihoods away from local people who manage short-let properties.

The ASSC recently reached out to Scotland’s housing minister and SNP MSP for East Lothian, Paul McLennan, who is, by their account, “not budging one bit” on the policy.

Perhaps, in his next column, Mr McLennan should explain to his constituents what he is doing to ensure that East Lothian’s tourist and self-catering businesses are able to operate and continue to support our local community under this proposed scheme?