Latest Information

Avian Influenza

The 10km Surveillance zone for Avian influenza in place in and around Great Bernera ended on 12 October 2022.  Further information is available from the Scottish Government Website (Opens in a new window or downloads a file).

Smoke-Free Perimeter around Hospital Buildings

The Prohibition of Smoking Outside Hospital Buildings (Scotland) Regulations 2022  (Opens in a new window or downloads a file)introduce a new offence for smoking within 15 metres of an NHS hospital building from 5 September 2022.  Further information is available from the Smoking Policy Scottish Government Website (Opens in a new window or downloads a file).


The new Fireworks and Pyrotechnic Articles (Scotland) Act 2022 (Opens in a new window or downloads a file) came into effect in August 2022 and introduces more legislation on the sale and use of fireworks.   A number of the Act’s provisions require further legislation or guidance and won’t be implemented immediately, although some may be introduced prior to the bonfire season this year.  The latest information is available from the Fireworks and Pyrotechnic Articles (Scotland) Bill news article (Opens in a new window or downloads a file) on the Scottish Government Website.

Scotland's single-use plastics ban: fully effective from 12 August 2022

Scotland's single-use plastic ban will be exempt from the UK Internal Market Act from 12 August 2022, allowing the ban to be fully effective.

Latest information on Single Use Plastics.

Deposit Return Scheme

The Scottish Government is introducing a Deposit Return Scheme for single use drinks containers, including metal cans and plastic bottles.  The scheme will go live on 16 August 2023. People will pay a small deposit of 20p when they buy a drink in a single-use container and then get the deposit back when they return the empty bottle or can.
Latest information Deposit Return Scheme.

Short Term Lets Licensing Scheme

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.  New operators, starting after 1 October 2022 require to have a licence before they can advertise and trade.

Update 2 March 2023

The Scottish Parliament has approved legislation to extend the deadline by which existing short-term let hosts must apply for a short-term let licence by 6 months to 1 October 2023.

The Scottish Government stated that:

This is a one-off six month extension which recognises the wider economic circumstances of the cost of living crisis that is placing pressure on existing short-term let hosts and businesses without significantly delaying our primary aim of ensuring consistent safety standards and addressing issues faced by residents and communities. This will not amend the timescales local authorities have to determine licence applications from existing hosts – this will remain at 12 months.

Latest information on Short Term Lets.

Private Landlord Registration

From 6 September 2022, there is a temporary cap on rent (Opens in a new window or downloads a file) increases during tenancies. The cap is set at 0% and is expected to stay in place until at least 31 March 2023.

This is part of the emergency measures (Opens in a new window or downloads a file) put in place to lessen the impact of the cost crisis on people who rent their home in Scotland.

This means that from 6 September 2022, you cannot increase your tenant’s rent unless you can prove that there has been an increase in certain costs (Opens in a new window or downloads a file).  Before you can increase the rent on the basis of these costs, you will need to apply to a Rent Officer.  Any rent increase notice given to your tenant on or after 6 September 2022 is not valid.

Guidance for private landlords on the rent cap (or rent freeze) (Opens in a new window or downloads a file).