Highland Council to establish short term lets licensing scheme in 2022 

The Scottish Government approved the short term lets legislation on Wednesday 19 January 2022.  The Highland Council now have a duty to establish a short term let licensing scheme by 1 October 2022. The Council are preparing for the administration of the scheme and will be developing any required policies such as licence duration, temporary exemptions, temporary licences, and the setting of fees.

Tourism Committee Chair, Cllr Gordon Adam said: “The new legislation applies to the whole of Scotland including island and rural communities. Regulating the license scheme will have significant resource implications for the Highland Council, with approx. 10,000 premises in the region that may require site visits, monitoring compliance and enforcement. No additional funding to implement this scheme is being made available from the Scottish Government. The Highland Council will do all it can to roll it out in as cost-effective a way as possible. But it is inevitable that charges tied to the scheme will be significant, which will be of concern to the thousands of families whose income is topped-up by letting premises to tourists”.

The Council will provide updates on implementation as the scheme progresses. The Council will also continue to engage with the Scottish Government on development of guidance for operators and Local Authorities on implementing the licensing scheme.

The Council are continuing implementation of the related Short Terms Lets Control Areas legislation with consultation on a proposed Control area for Badenoch and Strathspey to be launched shortly.

Implementation of short-term lets licensing:

  • Highland Council will be required to establish a short-term lets licensing scheme by 1 October 2022.
  • Existing hosts and operators will have until 1 April 2023 to apply for a licence.
  • All short-term let properties will require a licence by July 2024.

Short term lets - licensing scheme part 1: guidance for hosts and operators can be found here (external link)

25 Jan 2022