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Update on Short-Term Let Licensing

The Scottish Government has today laid the regulations which will amend the date by which existing operators and hosts must apply for a short-term let licence from 31 March 2023 to 30 September 2023.

This affirmative Scottish Statutory Instrument will eventually be voted on by all MSPs at the Scottish Parliament.

Fiona Campbell, Chief Executive of the Association of Self-Caterers, said:

 The ASSC welcomes the fact that the Scottish Government has laid regulations amending the date by which short-term let operators must apply for a licence. We are pleased our hard work, as well as the efforts from our friends across the Scottish tourism industry, has resulted in this development. The ASSC has been pressing hard for a pause to the implementation of the scheme due to the cost-of-living crisis so it’s good to know our voices are being heard.”

“However, while this extension provides some much-needed respite for the sector during challenging times, businesses remain concerned about the impact of short-term let regulation and we will continue to engage with the government, MSPs and local councils in order to minimise the regulatory burden.”

Furthermore, the Scottish Parliament’s Local Government, Housing and Planning Committee intend to hear oral evidence from stakeholders on the regulations on 7 February 2023 and the ASSC has been invited to participate. You can read our written submission to the Committee here.

The Scottish Government has put out the following press release.

More time to apply for short-term lets licences

Pragmatic approach to support hosts during cost of living crisis.

Recognising the pressures short-term lets hosts face at this time, legislation has been laid to extend the deadline for applying for a licence by six months to 1 October 2023.

The new deadline applies to anyone operating as a host before 1 October 2022. Anyone who started operating after that must have applied for and obtained a licence before accepting guests and bookings.

Housing Secretary Shona Robison said:

“We are taking a pragmatic approach to help support hosts in recognition of the wider cost of living crisis that is placing pressure on businesses. This one-off six-month extension will give businesses more time to spread the cost of the licence fee, and meet the scheme requirements.

“The principal component of our licencing scheme is a mandatory set of safety standards which many hosts will already be meeting as a matter of best practice or compliance with existing law. Our scheme gives local authorities the powers to strike a balance between the economic and tourism benefits of short-term lets and community concerns.

“Many hosts have already applied for a licence. I encourage those that have yet to do so to apply for a licence well in advance of the extended deadline.”


New hosts must now apply for, and obtain, a licence before accepting bookings or receiving guests. Anyone who operating as a host before 1 October 2022 can operate as normal while their application is being determined.

In December 2022 the Housing Secretary issued a letter to the Housing and Planning Committee confirming the intentions to amend the deadline of the scheme in the new year.

The Scottish Government will undertake a review of levels of short-term let activity in early 2024.

We will provide further updates on developments in due course.

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