28 September 2023

October 1st deadline approaches for short-term lets licence applications

Aberdeenshire Council is urging short-term lets hosts to apply for their licence as soon as possible and to not wait until the deadline this Sunday before submitting applications.

Just over 700 applications have been made to Aberdeenshire Council so far, which is well below the 2,000+ expected.

Existing hosts must apply for a licence before 1 October 2023—a deadline previously extended by the Scottish Government from 1 April 2023. Hosts can continue operating while an application is being processed.

Under the scheme, existing hosts and operators that have already been providing short-term lets before 1 October 2022 must apply for a licence before 1 October 2023.

New hosts and operators, who were not providing short-term lets before 1 October last year cannot operate a short-term let until they have a licence.

Any new short-term let businesses and existing ones offering additional new accommodation must legally have a licence before operating or they could face a fine of up to £2,500. All short-term let properties need to be licensed by 1 July 2024.

The legislation was brought in by the Scottish Government to ensure short-term lets are safe, to address issues faced by neighbours, and to help councils understand what is happening in their area. It aims to balance economic and tourism benefits with the needs and concerns of local communities.

Find out more about the legislation, the Scottish Government guidance and to make an application on Aberdeenshire Council's website.

Aberdeenshire Council developed its licensing scheme with feedback from local businesses and communities. Its aim is to ensure visitors enjoy a safe experience in holiday let accommodation which will encourage them to return to the region and to support the area’s businesses.

There are 4 types of short-term let licence:

In light of the economic challenges facing businesses, the council agreed a substantial reduction of fees in December last year. Fees depend on the type of licence application and guest capacity of the property. The licence, once awarded, will last for 3 years:


Guest capacity (people) 


Home sharing or letting 


Secondary letting 


1 to 2 






3 to 4 






5 to 9 






10 to 15 






16 or more 





Applicants will need to provide a number of important documents with their application with fees paid otherwise we won’t be able to process them.

Documentation required includes: