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Visit Scotland | Alba
Article published 01/03/2023

Six-month extension approved

Existing short-term let hosts and operators will have more time to apply for a licence after parliament approved a six-month extension.

MSPs voted in favour of extending the timeframe for the short-term let licensing scheme for existing hosts only.

It means that businesses which were already operating as a short-term let before 1 October 2022 have up until 1 October 2023 to apply for a short-term let licence. New hosts still need a licence before they can start operating. 

We will continue to lead an Industry Advisory Group, with representatives from the sector, to help support businesses through the application process.

This is a welcome development that acknowledges the challenges that the sector is facing at present through the general rise in the cost of doing business.

The small accommodation sector is a key contributor to both the Scottish economy and to the sustainable growth of the tourism industry.

The extension granted today will create an opportunity for greater clarity to be provided in both the national guidance for short-term let licensing and in the guidance produced by individual Councils.

In turn this should ensure that existing operators do not have to provide unnecessary information or incur extra costs in making their application. In all, this should ensure greater confidence for operators in what is required of them and a smoother process for Councils to manage.

We’re committed to helping both new and established businesses and are providing clear information on our website to help them understand how the licensing scheme applies to them.

Our high-quality accommodation is one of the things that makes Scotland such a special destination and the diverse range on offer caters well to visitors with different needs and budgets looking for a unique experience.

There are encouraging signs of interest in Scotland for this summer including from international visitors who tend to stay longer and spend more in our local communities; every accommodation provider stands to benefit from this interest.

As we focus on the industry’s recovery, we’ll continue to work closely with the sector and their representatives to support this vital part of Scotland’s visitor economy.

Rob Dickson, VisitScotland’s Industry and Destination Development Director

The short-term let licensing scheme

The licensing scheme aims to ensure consistent safety standards while reinforcing the positive reputation of Scottish tourism and hospitality.

To comply with the licence, hosts are required to meet a set of mandatory conditions which apply across Scotland, plus any additional conditions set by their council.

More information and frequently asked questions are available in our advice section.

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