East Lothian short term lets licence cost to treble

Friday April 19th 2024


Written by Local Democracy Reporter, Marie Sharp

The cost of a short term let licence in East Lothian is set to treble under proposed new fees.

A review of East Lothian Council’s licence charges raises the cost of a three year licence for a short term let from £390 to £1,067 for five people or less with further increases for more tenants.

The new fee is the same as one proposed for a zoo or a sex entertainment venue.

The proposed charges, which have been supported by the council’s licensing sub committee, will go before its Labour administration cabinet for final approval.

They also propose doubling the cost of a window cleaners’ licence from £89 a year to £207 with private hire driver licences set to increase from £149 to £259 and taxi cab drivers face a rise from £149 to £207.

The licensing sub committee gave the green light to introduce an alternative three year licence for taxi drivers, window cleaners and some traders which will cost £310 and will be available after they have held a one year licence.

The report into the proposed changes says the initial short term let licence fee was an estimate ahead of changes to legislation, which made them a requirement.

It said: “The fee review ensures that each particular licence is not either subsidising or being subsidised by the fees for other licences.

“Accordingly, the proposed fees for a number of licences have decreased while others have been increased. In particular, the fees calculated for short term let licensing applications have significantly increased.

“These costs have been increased as we now have experience of the actual cost and complexity of processing these licences together with the cost incurred as a result of an environmental health officer inspecting the premises.

“The initial fee for these applications had to be set in advance of the new statutory regime coming into force and was based on a best estimate of the time that was believed it would take to process applications notwithstanding that the regime and applications had not been received at that point.

“Since then, we have now had experience of processing these applications and the time required to take these though to determination.”

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