Regulations have been laid in Parliament that provide technical updates to the short-term let licensing scheme. 

Licensing was introduced in 2022 to provide assurance to guests on safety and quality, such as gas and electrical safety compliance and the suitability of hosts.

If approved, the new regulations would enable:

  • Licences to be transferred to a new host, such as when accommodation is sold
  • Prospective hosts building a new short-term let to apply for a provisional licence before construction is complete
  • Hosts to apply for a maximum of three licence exemptions totalling six weeks in a calendar year

The Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 (Licensing of Short-term Lets) (Amendment) Order 2024 will incorporate a range of updates to the short-term lets licensing scheme.

The proposed changes result from planned monitoring of the implementation of short-term let licensing in Scotland, which was announced in 2023.

If passed by the Scottish Parliament, hosts will be apply to apply for a maximum of three temporary exemptions to the licensing scheme in a calendar year (with a combined total of no more than six weeks). There are also technical clarifications to exclude foster care and guest rooms in certain residential accommodation from licensing requirements.

Minister for Housing Paul McLennan said:

“Short-term let accommodation offers safe and high-quality places to stay throughout Scotland and plays an important role in supporting our tourism sector.

“Since we introduced the licensing scheme I have continually engaged with operators and the wider tourism industry to understand how it is working. These regulations are in response to, and have been refined through, that engagement.

“If passed by the Scottish Parliament, the regulations will support new businesses through the timely transfer of licences between operators and the consideration of new short-term lets at an earlier stage of their development.

“This will ensure that the licensing scheme continues to deliver quality and safety assurance for guests, whilst protecting the needs of local communities.”