Short-term lettings

Short-term let licensing regime

The Scottish Government approved legislation for the licensing of short-term let accommodation on the 21st January 2022. The Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 (Licensing of Short-term Lets) Order 2022 and the Town and Country Planning (Short-term Let Control Areas) (Scotland) Regulations 2021 are now in  place and set the framework for  local authorities to  establish their own licensing schemes.The scheme must incorporate a compulsory element, underpinning safety standards for short-term lets, with additional, optional powers for local authorities to impose further conditions or requirements where that is appropriate for their areas.

What are the Council doing?

Argyll and Bute had the 4th highest number of self-catering accommodation (1584) available for let in Scotland in 2016 and there was a 44% year on year increase in the number of Airbnb properties between 2016 and 2017. It is anticipated that this number has increased.

Developing a licensing scheme for October 2022 will be very challenging and an Officer Working Group will be convened to consider the legislation and guidance, and identify the key issues and actions to be undertaken.

Impact on business providing short –term let

If your business comes within the licensing scheme (there are exemptions in the legislation), existing hosts will have until 1 April 2023 to apply for a licence. The final deadline for all hosts and operators to have a licence is 1 July 2024. Further information will follow and you are advised to consider the documentation on the Scottish Government website.

Consultation now closed

The consultation on the Council’s draft short-term lets licensing policy is now closed. Thank you to the over 500 people and organisations who have helped us by contributing comments and suggestions. A number of very useful points have been made. We will take all comments into consideration in reviewing and finalising our policy.

For further information

You can find out more about the legislation and read the Scottish Government guidance for hosts and operators at

Visit Scotland have published guidance for hosts and operators to help them get ready for the licensing scheme at