Short Term Lets

Information regarding new legislation which applies to short term lets

The Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 (Licensing of Short-term Lets) Order 2022 was approved by the Scottish Parliament 19 January 2022 and came into force on 1 March 2022.

Short-term lets can offer people a flexible and cheaper travel option, and have contributed positively to Scotland's tourism industry and local economies across the country. The Scottish Government has put in place this licensing scheme to ensure basic safety standards are in place across all short-term lets operating in Scotland, while also providing discretionary powers to licensing authorities to address the needs and concerns of local communities. Improved visitor experience and confidence will benefit tourism and the economy.

The aims of the licensing scheme are:

  • to ensure all short-term lets are safe
  • to facilitate licensing authorities in knowing and understanding what is happening in their area 
  • to assist with handling complaints and address issues faced by neighbours effectively

Licensing authorities must have their licensing scheme ready to receive applications by 1 October 2022.

Have your say

We're consulting on our drafted policy for short-term lets and would like your feedback. The consultation is open from 25 July until 8 August 2022.

Icon for pdf Read our drafted policy [648.48KB].

Visit our short survey and give us your views.

After 1 October 2022:

  • new hosts and operators will need to have a licence. This means that, if you were not using your premises to provide short-term lets before 1 October 2022, you can advertise but not take bookings or receive guests until you have obtained a licence.
  • existing hosts/ operators (those using accommodation to provide short-term lets before 1 October 2022) have until 1 April 2023 to apply for a licence. During this period you can operate without a licence (by continuing to take bookings and receiving guests) unless your licence has been determined, and your application rejected. You will need to be able to prove that you used the property for short-term lets, for example through evidence of bookings and payments, as part of your initial application.

On or after 1 October 2022, it is a criminal offence for any person to continue to operate after their licence application has been determined and refused.

After 1 April 2023:

existing hosts can only continue to operate if they have:

  • a) Submitted an application for a licence on or before 1 April 2023 that has not yet been determined; OR
  • b) Been granted a short-term let licence.

After 1 July 2024:

All short-term lets in Scotland will need to be licensed by 1 July 2024. On or after 1 July 2024 operating without a licence is unlawful in all cases.

Read the guidance for hosts and operators for hosts and operators and the supplementary guidance for licensing authorities, letting agencies and platforms, published by the Scottish Government on 18 March 2022

Further details will be available and this website will be updated as establishment of our scheme evolves.

Got a query about Short Term Lets? Contact the Private Sector Housing Team. Email:

Last modified on 26 July 2022