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Tourism businesses in the Highland Region have been warned that 'significant' charges will be levied on them as part of the new licensing scheme for short-term lets.

The Scottish Government approved the short term lets legislation a week ago on Wednesday 19 January.  Councils now have a duty to establish a short-term let licensing scheme by 1 October 2022.

Councils will be developing any required policies such as licence duration, temporary exemptions, temporary licences, and the setting of fees.

Highland Council Tourism Committee Chair, Councillor 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 approximately 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 says it will also continue to engage with the Scottish Government on development of guidance for operators and Local Authorities on implementing the licensing scheme.

  • Councils are 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.