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Article published 18/01/2023

Recognising the pressures short-term lets hosts face at this time, the Scottish Government has set out legislation 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.

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.

Shona Robison, Housing Secretary


New hosts must now apply for, and obtain, a licence before accepting bookings or receiving guests.

Anyone 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.

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