No time for complacency

John Wagner George Sell Uploaded

Awareness of serviced apartments and aparthotels has come on so far over the last 10 years from all quarters - consumer, investor and developer - that it's easy to become complacent and take it for granted that everyone knows exactly what the industry does and how it works.

But this is clearly not the case, particularly at regulatory level. In Scotland, the sector has been lumped in with the - largely unregulated - short-let and vacation rental sector under a proposed new mandatory licensing scheme "to ensure safety and to help address the problems faced by local communities over-populated by such accommodation".

It's good to see lobbying bodies including the Scottish Tourism Alliance, UK Hospitality Scotland and ASAP engaging with Kevin Stewart, Scotland's minister for local government, housing and planning, to try to ensure serviced apartments are classified with hotels and guest houses rather than short-term rentals - as they are when it comes to business rates.

Let's hope their arguments do not fall on deaf ears, as the sector is having a hard enough time as it is without extra regulation to contend with. If passed by Parliament, the new regulations will come into force by April 2021.


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