Short Term Accommodation

16 December 2022

In Scotland, short-term accommodation (STA) such as Airbnb, has tripled in three years, with some coastal areas experiencing an even greater increase. This has inevitably heightened safety concerns, particularly since electricity is the primary cause of fires in Scotland ─ and the fire risk rises if a property has a high turnover of residents and lacks regular electrical checks. The Scottish Government recently introduced mandatory electrical safety checks for STAs in Scotland, so Electrical Safety First is developing a guide to help STA hosts understand their electrical safety obligations and legal requirements.

The rapid growth of Scotland’s STA sector can be readily seen. A recent report in The Guardian claimed, for example, that a quarter of homes in the Scores were Airbnb in 2022 ─ up 80% from 2019.

Our Short-Changed campaign helped introduce mandatory electrical safety checks in Scotland, ensuring STA guests have the same level of protection as private and social housing tenants. The requirement ─ involving five-yearly checks of both the electrical installation and appliances provided as part of the tenancy ─ came into force in October 2022 for new hosts, and October 2023 for existing hosts.

To help STA hosts understand their responsibility for electrical safety in their properties, we have produced a guide, in conjunction with the Short-Term Accommodation Association, detailing hosts’ legislative and regulatory obligations. The guide, which will be published early next year and cover the whole of the UK, provides detailed information for STA hosts in Scotland. We will be asking MSPs to help us communicate this new electrical safety law to STA hosts, and their guests, in their constituency. Please contact Karter Kane for more information.

More posts by Karter Kane

Related articles