There have been recent concerns in  the Borgue community about the increasing numbers of properties that are being used for short-term or holiday rentals. It is recognised that holiday rental properties can be a benefit to local businesses but there are also negative effects in terms of properties being unavailable or too expensive for local rersidents, particularly for young families who wish to live and work in the area.

There is information and guidance for communities from the Scottish Government in the document linked below:

Planning circular 01/2021: short-term let control areas

The Scottish Government’s purpose in the regulation of short-term lets is to ensure that local authorities have appropriate regulatory powers to balance the needs and concerns of their communities with wider economic and tourism interests. The purpose of control areas is to help manage high concentrations of secondary letting (where it affects the availability of residential housing or the character of a neighbourhood); to restrict or prevent short-term lets in places or types of building where it is not appropriate; and to help local authorities ensure that homes are used to best effect in their areas.

An enquiry was made to D&G Council for more information on short-term let properties in Borgue and the following response was received:

Having now had the opportunity to interrogate the Council Tax Valuation List and the Valuation Roll for properties within the Borgue Community Council Area, I can confirm that there are 32 Self-catering properties and 217 domestic dwellings. The 32 self-catering properties equates to 12.85% of properties with the Community Council area that would otherwise be in the Council Tax List if it was not for the fact they are being used for a non-domestic purpose. I must stress that this only includes those self-catering properties where the owner has made a declaration that the property is being used for that purpose. The criteria for a property being excluded from the definition of a dwelling is that it is not the sole or main residence of the person and that it is available for letting on a commercial basis as per Schedule 2 of The Council Tax (Dwellings and Part Residential Subjects) (Scotland) Regulations 1992. There may of course be many other properties available for short term lets, such as through Airbnb, where the property remains to be the sole or main residence of the owner and as such would not qualify for removal from the Council Tax Valuation List.

In terms of the rate of change I have added 7 new self-catering properties to the Valuation Roll since April 2020.

Legislation covering Short Term Let Control Areas is in place however the licensing of these does not come into force until 1 October 2022. Guidance on this is awaited from Scottish Government and plans to facilitate this within Dumfries & Galloway Council are at an early stage with colleagues in Planning and Licensing still considering matters at present.

Kind Regards

James W Doig
Assessor & Electoral Registration Officer