New standards for short-term lets

Extra time for hosts to prepare.

Existing hosts of short-term lets will now have until April 2023 to apply for a licence under Scottish Government plans for regulation.  

The move will give them more time to prepare for the new legislation coming into effect.

A report into the consultation on the proposals, which received more than 1,000 responses, was published today, and secondary legislation will be laid at the Scottish Parliament later this month.

If approved by Parliament, the licensing scheme will come into force on 1 April 2021.  But local authorities will have until 1 April 2022 to establish a scheme in their area and open it to receive applications, with existing hosts having until 1 April 2023 to apply.

Housing Minister Kevin Stewart said:

“I am pleased to publish this report on short-term lets, which marks an important milestone in our work to strike the right balance between the needs of local communities, and the wider economic and tourism interests.

“Residents have expressed concern about the impact of short-term lets in their communities, including noise, nuisance, anti-social behaviour and a loss of residential housing stock.  Our  proposals to regulate short-term lets will ensure these properties adhere to a common set of safety standards to protect guests and neighbours.  Many responsible hosts will already be following these safety standards – our proposals will help to ensure that all comply.

“However, we have also listened closely to the representations made by business and tourism stakeholders.  We are acutely aware of the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on this sector right now.  A large number of comments in the consultation centred on whether to proceed with regulation at this time or to delay it.  We have amended our proposals to ensure that existing hosts have more than two years to prepare.

“Our proposals support work towards a strong recovery of responsible and sustainable tourism in Scotland.”


The consultation report into proposals for a licensing scheme and planning control areas for short-term lets in Scotland can be found here:

The impact of the new proposals will be monitored and evaluated to ensure they are effective and targeted.


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