Opening of the licensing regime for short-term rentals


Steps to establish uniform standards across the country.

A new licensing system for short-term rental hosts opens today [1 October]aimed at ensuring consistent safety standards while enhancing the positive reputation of Scottish tourism and hospitality.

The licensing regime was developed in response to concerns raised by residents about the impact of short-term rental properties on their local communities. It gives councils the flexibility to develop licensing systems that meet local needs and partners with council powers to establish areas of short-term rental control.

To comply with the license, hosts will need to meet a set of mandatory terms that apply across Scotland, plus any additional terms set by their council.

Anyone operating as a host before October 1 has until April 1, 2023 to apply for a license and can operate until their application has been determined. New hosts must obtain a license before accepting reservations and hosting guests.

A targeted digital marketing campaign to promote the licensing program is also being launched today.

Housing Secretary Shona Robison said:

“Our new licensing system will support responsible operators and give customers confidence that their short-term rental – whether it’s an apartment in Edinburgh, a property for a business trip across the borders or of a cottage in the Highlands – meets the same set of safety standards.

“These new conditions include measures such as displaying an energy performance rating on listings, or securing valid buildings and liability insurance. We know that the vast majority of short-term rental companies already comply these safety standards as good practice, and some are already required by current legislation.

“We know that short-term rentals make a positive contribution to the tourism industry and local economies in Scotland, and these measures will allow them to continue to do so while ensuring that this is balanced with the needs of residents. and local communities.

“The deadline for applications from existing hosts is April 1, and I urge all hosts and operators to contact your local authority as soon as possible to find out how to apply.”

Malcolm Roughead, CEO of VisitScotland, said:

“The small accommodation sector is a key contributor to the economy and our high quality and varied offer is one of the things that makes Scotland such a special destination.

“Through an industry advisory group, we worked closely with representatives from across the industry before the licensing regimes were introduced.

“We will continue to provide new and established businesses with the right guidance to help them through the process of applying for a short-term rental license.”


More information on the new licensing requirements and areas of control for short-term rentals can be found on the Scottish Government website.

A short-term rental is the rental of a property or part of a property for a short period of time, for example for a vacation or a business trip. It can be renting an entire property or just renting a room in someone’s home. They are also self-catering accommodation, bed and breakfast, bed and breakfast or even a simple guest room if rented on a short-term basis.

License fees vary depending on local authority, size of property and type of tenancy. Mandatory license conditions can be found in Schedule 3 of the Licensing Ordinance.

The Scottish Government has pledged to work with local authorities, as well as organizations such as Airbnb, and the Association of Scotland’s Self Caterers, to review levels of short-term rental activity in sensitive areas next summer. This will help the Scottish Government monitor the impact of these measures on the wider tourism sector and assess whether further action is needed.


Comments are closed.