Owners of short-term lets in Helensburgh and Lomond have been urged to submit their applications for a new mandatory licence – before time runs out.

People who let out properties on sites such as AirBnB have just over a month to apply to Argyll and Bute Council for Scotland’s short-term let licensing scheme before the deadline closes on Sunday, October 1.

A licence is required for anyone who operates or plans to open a short-term let and aims to establish consistent standards of accommodation across the country to benefit visitors and communities.

Existing hosts of short-term let accommodation - who began letting before October 1 2022 - can continue to rent out their accommodation while a decision on their application is determined, but new hosts, and those who began hosting after October 1, 2022 will not be able to operate until they obtain a licence.

There are currently more than 60 short-term lets in Helensburgh being advertised on AirBnB alone.

Housing minister Paul McLennan MSP said: “Short-term let accommodation plays an important role in Scotland’s economy, supporting our tourism and hospitality sector and allowing tourists and holiday goers somewhere to take them closer to the best Scotland can offer.

“I would like to thank those who have already signed up to the scheme across Argyll and Bute, bringing assurances to tourists that their safety is paramount and that they have met local guidelines.

“There are less than two months to go until the October 1 deadline and so I would urge anyone who owns short-term let accommodation and has yet to apply to do so as soon as possible to ensure you can still take bookings and welcome guests from far and wide.”

If a host is found using their accommodation as a short-term let without a licence, they could face a fine of up to £2,500 and be banned from applying for a licence for a year. 

Four types of licence are available:

A home-share licence for those renting all or part of their home whilst they live there;

A home-letting licence for those who let out their popery while they are not at home;

A secondary letting licence for those who rent a property that they do not normally reside in;

A home letting and home sharing licence for those who let all or part of their home both when and when they are not at home.

The cost of the licence will vary depending on the property location, size, and type of let.

Each property owner must apply to their own local authority for the licence.

For more information on how to apply visit: www.shorttermlets.campaign.gov.scot.