21 Mar Short-term let providers across Highlands reminded of licence requirements and looming deadline for action
The Ross-Shire Journal – Hector MacKenzie
ALL hosts of short-term lets across the Highlands are legally required to obtain a new short-term let licence from Highland Council.
Hosts who were already operating a short-term let before October 1 last year have until October 1 this year to apply for a licence.
They can continue to operate whilst their application is being determined.
New hosts from October 1, 2022, who wish to set up and operate a short-term let for the first time, are required to apply and obtain a licence before they can accept bookings or receive guests.
The new licence will require hosts to meet a set of mandatory conditions – many of which are already best practice within the sector, or required by existing law. The new legislation introduces mandatory standards for all short-term lets across Scotland.
There are a number of conditions that hosts will need to meet in order to be granted a licence such as displaying an EPC rating on adverts and listings (where applicable), ensuring there are valid buildings and public liability insurance in place for the accommodation, arranging an electrical safety inspection and completing a Legionella risk assessment.
The tourism sector makes a significant contribution to the Scottish economy – in 2019, there were around 17.3 million overnight visitors to Scotland, spending £5.7billion. The legislation ensures that hosts meet the mandatory standards, helping to protect the positive reputation of Scottish hospitality and confidence amongst visitors and local communities.
Hosts will also be required to pay an application fee to obtain a licence, but the fee will typically vary depending on the property location, size and type of let.