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 apply for a licence from 1 October 2022 until 1 April 2023 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).
Update 20 January 2023
We have received information from the Scottish Government that there is a plan to amend The Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 (Licensing of Short-term Lets) Order 2022 to extend the date by which existing hosts must apply for a short-term let licence from 1 April 2023 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.
If this amendment passes, then existing hosts will have another six months (until 1 October 2023) to apply for a licence. We have been advised by the Scottish Government that a final decision on whether to extend the deadline will not be announced until mid March. We will update this page when a decision is announced.
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.
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 April 2023|
|All Short-terms lets to be licensed||1 July 2024|
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. Whether you are applying for the first time or renewing an existing licence please read the guidance on this page before you apply.
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||£130||£150||£200||£300|
|Secondary Letting Licence||£300||£350||£375||£400|
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 (267.4kB).
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.
We held several webinars in September for hosts that provided a brief overview of the scheme and gave the opportunity for hosts to ask questions about it. We will be holding more webinars over the next couple of months and will publish details below when available:
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)