Call for hosts to apply before 1 October
The Scottish Government has reminded short-term let operators in West Dunbartonshire and Argyll and Bute to apply for a licence before the 1 October deadline, highlighting that no application so far has been rejected.
Licensing has been introduced to ensure short-term lets in Scotland are safe and meet consistent quality standards, including having gas certificates and suitable electrical equipment.
Official statistics published today, dating up to 31 March this year, show that across 32 local authorities, no applications submitted for a short-term let licence have been refused.
Housing Minister Paul McLennan, right, said: “Quality short-term let accommodation is vital to Scotland’s tourism sector and wider economy. It aims to protect the reputation of responsible operators and ensure the sector is regulated in line with other accommodation such as hotels and caravan parks, giving guests assurance of consistent safety standards.
“There has been a lead time of almost two years to the October deadline. Official statistics published today cover only up to the end of March and we know many more hosts have applied in recent months. Operators can take confidence that local authorities are working pragmatically to support new licensees through the application process – and we can see from the information that no completed applications had been rejected in the period, or since.
“So, I would repeat calls to everyone within the industry to back the scheme and encourage short-term let operators to apply for a licence in good time and before the 1 October deadline.”
Maree McLeod, owner of The Gatehouse in guesthouse in Reay, near Thurso, said: “The licensing scheme will ensure guests know properties like ours are of the highest standard and are compliant with the latest safety regulations. I have spent a lot of time and money ensuring our business is of the highest quality. We try our best to do the best. It is therefore pleasing that other short-term lets will be brought to that same level. By doing this, Scotland will become an international leader in this market.
“The process of applying for a short-term let with Highland Council was made easy and straightforward because of the really helpful team there. I would encourage every owner to go through the process of obtaining a licence. It not only marks out the property as a leader in its class. It marks out the owners too. Our business has improved through this process.”
Helensburgh, Loch Lomondside and Argyll and Bute are popular for short-term lets.
Short term let licences last for three years, the average cost of applying is set out below:
Home sharing application median fee range £250 – £390
Secondary let application median fee range £333 – £550
Median fee for a home share let with occupancy of 2 – £257
Median fee for a secondary let with occupancy of 4 – £405
Median fee for a secondary let with occupancy of 6 – £451
Median fee for a secondary let with occupancy of 10 – £518
An average 6 occupancy (often 3 bedroom) property, which required new safety certification, would pay £451 for a licence, which would last for three years, plus around £290 in safety certification and a £59 EPC certificate.