Short-Term Let Licensing
The Scottish Government introduced mandatory licensing for short-term lets in January 2022 requiring the Comhairle to have a fully functional licensing scheme in place for 1 October 2022; existing operators will be able to make a competent application for a licence from 1 October 2022 and new operators who have not traded prior to 1 October 2022 will need a licence before they can operate. The Scottish Government has provided detailed guidance for hosts and operators (Opens in a new window or downloads a file) (Link opens in a new window).
What is a licensable short-term let?
The Scottish Government has a detailed definition what is and what isn’t a licensable short-term let (Opens in a new window or downloads a file). This flow diagram (124.9kB) (Opens in a new window or downloads a file) will also help determine if accommodation requires a short-term let licence. Further information, including forms, FAQ Page. etc can be found at the bottom of this page.
Please note that you do not need normally need a short-term let licence for caravans and pods. You usually need a current caravan site licence and planning permission covering this use. Please see the Caravan Site Licence page for further information on what is required. If you are still unsure, please contact us for clarification.
Applying for a licence
|Comhairle Nan Eilean Siar Short-term Let Licensing scheme goes live||1 October 2022|
|New short-term lets (i.e. those that will become operational for the first time post 1 October 2022)
New hosts & operators will need to have a licence; they can advertise but not take bookings or receive guests until they have obtained a licence.
|From 1 October 2022|
|Short-term lets operating prior to 1 October 2022
Hosts and operators of premises can continue to operate but must apply for a licence by this date.
|1 October 2023|
|All Short-terms lets to be licensed||1 July 2024|
Type of Letting(s) being carried out:
- Secondary Letting (means the letting of property where you do not normally live, e.g. self catering unit)
- Home Letting (means using all or part of your own home for short-term lets whilst you are absent, e.g. whilst you are on holiday)
- Home Sharing (means using all or part of your own home for short-term lets whilst you are there e.g. B&B, Guest House, letting out rooms only for short-term lets)
- Home Letting & Home Sharing (means a combination of Home Letting & Home Sharing)
Although paper applications are accepted it is preferred that you apply online. You must complete all the mandatory parts and provide all the documents requested in the form in order to make your application competent.
What is a competent application?
For your application to be considered competent you must pay the correct fee and attach/submit all the ancillary documentation requested as part of the application form (i.e. electrical and gas certificates). If you apply, including the fee but missing this documentation it will not be considered competent. Existing operators should ensure that if they are applying close to the 1 October 2023 that it is a competent application. If you do not have a competent application submitted by the deadline, then you will not be allowed to operate or advertise for bookings from 1 October 2023. It is recommended that you apply well in advance of the final deadline to allow us to help resolve any issues with your application.
There are different application fees based on the type of licence and the number of guests.
The fees are:
|Licence Type||1 - 2 Guests||3 - 4 Guests||5 - 6 Guests||7+ Guests|
|Home Letting and/or Sharing Licence||£133||£153||£204||£306|
|Secondary Letting Licence||£306||£357||£383||£408|
These and associated short-term let fees will appear on our Fees and Charges page.
The preferred option is to apply online and complete the Online Short-Term Let Licensing Form (Opens in a new window or downloads a file).
Paper Application Form
or alternatively you can apply using a paper form.
Payment for the licence fee can also be made online from Comhairle nan Eilean Siar - Online Payments (e-paycapita.com) (Opens in a new window or downloads a file) or by phone on 01851 600502
If paying online, please select Miscellaneous Payments/Consumer and Environmental Services/Licence Fees - Short term lets and put your application reference number in the message box
You can download or view the current public register of short-term let licence applications (311.4kB) (Opens in a new window or downloads a file).
Licensing is being introduced under the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 (Opens in a new window or downloads a file) by the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 (Licensing of Short-Term Lets) Order 2022 (Opens in a new window or downloads a file).
Scottish Government regulation (Opens in a new window or downloads a file) information is available on their website.
If this webpage and our FAQs don’t provide you with the information you need, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org (Opens in a new window or downloads a file)