Short term lets licensing

Applying for a licence

Ensure you have read the following pages before applying for a licence. 

Apply for a licence

Earlier this year the Scottish Parliament approved legislation to introduce a new mandatory licensing scheme for short term let properties from 1 October 2022.

After 1 October 2022, new operators of short-term let accommodation must have a licence before taking any bookings or receiving guests. This also applies to existing operators who establish new short-term let accommodation after 1 October 2022.

If you are an existing host or operator (operating before 1 October 2022) you can continue to accept bookings and receive guests while your application is being determined and have until 1 October 2023 to apply for a licence.

It is a criminal offence to operate a short-term let without a licence, and you could be fined up to £2,500.

The new law applies to short-term let accommodation, with exceptions that are set out in the legislation, and in guidance on the Guidance for hosts and operators (updated 30/06/23) page. Short-term let accommodation requiring a licence includes rooms let in your own home, holiday cottages, guest houses, B&Bs and unconventional accommodation such as pods and yurts.

Short Term Let Control Areas

Badenoch and Strathspey (Ward 20) is expected to become a Short Term Let Control Area.

To operate within this area, you will need to have either planning permission, or confirm that it is not required.

If you have already applied for a licence when the control area becomes active, you will be given a reasonable amount of time to obtain the appropriate permission. For more information, visit our page on Short Term Let Control Areas.

Before you begin your application

Before you start your application read through the following pages:


The fees for all short-term let applications can be found on our licence application fees page.

Variation of Short Term Let Licence

An application  form to  apply to vary a Short Term Let Licence can be downloaded here - STL variation application form (word) | STL variation application form (PDF) . The application fee is £120.

Application Form

All applications for a short-term let licence must be submitted directly to The Highland Council via our online application form, found at Short term let licence application - The Highland Council. We are unable to accept applications using alternative application forms.  

Policy Statement

A copy of our Policy Statement and guidance notes in relation to short-term let licensing can be found by downloading the Short term lets - Policy Statement.

Privacy notice

Before applying, ensure you have read our privacy notice for short term let licensing.