Short Term Lets Licensing Statistics Scotland to 30 June 2023

This statistical publication presents information on the number of valid short term lets licence applications received, granted and pending determination as at 30 June 2023, by type of let, type of property and other accommodation details, based on data collected from local authorities across the first three reporting quarters from 1 October 2022.

General notes

The summary statistics reported in this publication on number of applications received are based on the number of valid applications received (i.e. applications received and determined valid by local authorities). If an application is received but it is not determined to be valid within the reporting period, then this is not reported on except as an invalid / incomplete licence, for which information on these numbers is available in the detail of the supporting Excel document. Local authorities differ in their ability to report on invalid / incomplete licences, so any national figures reported on this basis are likely to provide a partial picture only.

Applications for short term lets are either for Full, Renewal, Temporary, or Exemption licences. In addition, if an application is received before 1 October 2023 from an existing host of a short term let, that application receives a provision licence, under which the host can continue operating until they received a determination. When an application which has received a provisional licence is decided, that provisional licence is changed to a full licence. An application from a new host, or received after 1 October 2023, is recorded as a new licence and needs to be granted before the new host can operate.

Note that the licences by type figures presented reflect the status of the application as at the end of the quarterly period prior to the point of the data extraction taking place. Some of the applications recorded in the Full Licence category for a given quarter may have been previously Provisional or New Licences at an earlier time point in the same quarter, however this initial status is not always separately identifiable.

Operational context

This is the second 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, in which local authority licensing schemes opened to receive applications from 1 October 2022, although existing hosts and operators have had until 1 October 2023 to apply for a licence and can continue operating under a provisional licence whilst their applications are being determined. Although if they haven’t applied by this date they will not be able to operate until they make an application and a licence has been granted.

The scheme is administrated by local authorities, who as per the Order are required to maintain a public register of the applications and licenses, and to share data on the licences for statistical purposes with the Scottish Government.

Data collection

The Scottish Government collects record level data from local authorities, collected quarterly through a dedicated web portal managed by Scottish Government called ProcXed. A data specification sets out the data to be provided, along with values and definitions for each data field.

Communication with data supply partners

The Scottish Government maintains a regular correspondence the local authority contacts who supply the licensing data, through regular working group meetings as well as the use of the Improvement Service Knowledge Hub to share key documentation and provide a forum for discussion and support.

In addition a Data Sharing Agreement setting out the collection of data for statistical purposes has been developed and has been shared with the Society of Local Authority Lawyers and Administrators in Scotland (SOLAR).

Data quality

The Scottish Government receives data from the local authorities into a web portal known as ProcXed. This performs a basic validation automatic error checking which prompts local authorities to correct any errors it detects in the supplied data.

Once this data collection concludes the data is downloaded by Scottish Government statisticians and the data is processed to ensure that it is consistent between quarters and to detect any further errors. Errors are corrected as part of a Reproducible Analytical Pipeline.

Once draft statistics are collated, as a further quality check the summarised statistics collated by Scottish Government statisticians are then sent to local authorities to confirm that they represent an accurate representation of what they have reported in the record level data.

For this publication, 18 out of 32 local authorities responded to confirm, with any issues raised corrected before proceeding. It is possible that some of the data for the remaining 14 authorities that did not respond may contain some errors which may be subject to future revision.

Whilst the data quality steps as set out above should help to minimise the risk of any data issues being present, the fact that this is a relatively new data collection based on new processes being applied by local authorities means that there may be some potential for some initial teething issues being present. If any future data issues are identified we will aim to work with the local authorities involved to receive corrected data and to apply any necessary revisions to figures in future publications.

Revisions to figures since previous publication

This latest publication includes some revisions to previously published figures, where we have taken account of more up-to-date or accurate data than what was available at the time of the previous publication.

Overall this has had a relatively limited impact on the figures presented, with the previously reported figure of 1,178 applications received and validated during October to December 2022 being revised down by a net change of 1 application (0.1%) to 1,177 in the current publication. This is due to changes in the number of applications compared to those previously reported for Dumfries and Galloway (-1 application), East Dunbartonshire (-2 applications), Glasgow City (-1 application), and Midlothian (+3 applications).

The previously reported figure of 1,409 applications received and validated during January to March 2023 has been revised up by a net change of 91 applications (6.5%) to 1,500. This is due to changes in the number of applications compared to those previously reported for Angus (+10 applications), Argyll and Bute (+1 application), East Dunbartonshire (+3 applications), City of Edinburgh (-1 application), Glasgow City (+5 applications), Highland (+35 applications), Midlothian (-3 applications), North Ayrshire (+2 applications), North Lanarkshire (-3 applications) and Stirling (+42 applications).

These revision figures are set out in the Excel Supporting Document Revisions Table, with summary national level figures also shown below in Table 6.

Table 6: Impact of taking into account more up-to-date data on previously published total applications figures at a national level.

  Received and validated during Oct to Dec 2022 Received and validated during Jan to Mar 2023

Number of applications received – as previously published on 31 August 2023



Number of applications received – as published in this current publication






Difference (%)




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