Short Term Lets Licensing Statistics, to 31 December 2023

An Official Statistics Publication for Scotland.

There were at least 23,576 applications for a short-term lets licence as of end December 2023. 14,539 short term lets licence applications were received and validated by local authorities relating to the period between 1 October 2022 (when the scheme opened) and 31 December 2023. There were at least 9,037 additional applications received but not yet validated as of end December 2023.

This publication presents complete data on all validated applications as at end of December 2023 but does not cover all applications received. Local authorities do not have to provide data to Scottish Government on applications that have not been validated so this publication reports a partial picture of all applications received. When the snapshot of data was taken for this publication local authorities were working to validate a large volume of applications received by 1st October 2023 deadline for existing hosts to continue operating. This includes working with applicants to obtain all the information required to validate an application. Therefore, these statistics are subject to upward revision in subsequent publications.

Over half (55% or 7,989) of all validated applications (14,539) so far were received in the quarter (July to September 2023) just before the 1 October cut off for existing hosts and operators to apply for a provisional licence to continue operating.

The majority (11,505 or 79%) of validated applications relate to secondary letting (i.e. where a non-primary residence is let out), with 1,537 (11%) relating to home sharing, 837 (6%) for home letting, and 660 (5%) for a mixture of home sharing and letting.

As of 31 December 2023, nearly half (49%) of the validated applications were granted a licence, and half (50%) of the applications were pending determination. A minority of applications were withdrawn, refused, lapsed or suspended (1%).

Local authorities have 12 months to process an application from existing hosts and 9 months for new hosts. 96% (1,401) of applications received between October and December 2022 had a licence granted within 12 months. 1% (19) of the applications received in this period were withdrawn and 3% (38) were pending determination as of end December 2023.

12,435 licences or exemptions were in operation as of 31 December 2023. Full licences accounted for over half (57% or 7,085) of this number and 43% (5,350) were provisional licences pending a final decision. There were 27 temporary licences and exemptions.  However, there will be applications eligible for a provisional licences not reported in this publication if the local authority had not validated the application by 31 December 2023.

31,896 bedrooms and a total maximum occupancy of 63,798 people were reported in the licences or exemptions in operation granted.


The full publication is available at Short Term Lets Licensing Statistics, Scotland, to 31 December 2023.

This is the third statistical publication reporting on the operation of the short term lets licensing scheme under the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 (Licensing of Short-term Lets) Order 2022, and presents information on data collected from local authorities across first five reporting quarters between October 2022 and December 2023.

The next quarterly publication covering the period January to March 2024 is planned to be released around summer 2024.

Official statistics are produced in accordance with the Code of Practice for Statistics.


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