Published 25 July 2023

All businesses offering short-term lets in Scotland will shortly require to have a licence before accepting bookings and welcoming guests on their premises.

It is essential that all businesses operating before 1 October 2022 who offer overnight accommodation, including occasionally letting a spare room or sub-let while on holiday, submit an application for a short-term licence before the deadline of Sunday, 1 October 2023 and all new businesses must obtain a licence before they can operate.

The current fee for a licence application is £766 and its duration on grant is normally three years.  The Council will work with colleagues and external stakeholders, including Police Scotland and Scottish Fire and Rescue, to ensure anyone applying for a licence is a fit and proper person and the premises operate safely.

In addition, businesses should be aware that they may also require planning permission from West Dunbartonshire Council or Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park.

Licensing Committee Convener, Councillor Lawrence O’Neill, said: “This law came into force last year for all new businesses and the deadline for existing businesses to apply and receive their licence is 1 October 2023. Every year we welcome tourists and visitors to share the stunning scenery on our doorstep with many choosing to stay overnight in West Dunbartonshire. This legislation ensures all premises offering overnight stays on a short-term basis are safe and the accommodation has passed all the required safety checks. A licence being in place means that the operator must comply with a number of set conditions attached by the Licensing Committee. These conditions should give comfort to guests and the wider community that premises must operate in a safe and responsible way.” 

Licensing Committee Vice Convener, Councillor Gurpreet Singh Johal, added: “Many businesses have applied for and received their licence and I thank them for complying with the new rules. The legislation makes it a legal requirement for anyone hosting guests overnight at their accommodation for a short-term let to be properly licenced. While we understand and recognise  the important role that short-term accommodation – from Bed and Breakfasts to Guest Houses – play in West Dunbartonshire in providing safe and welcoming home for visitors, it is important that local neighbours are protected from any adverse impact where the premises are poorly managed. I would urge all businesses to make sure they take the necessary steps now to ensure they are legally licensed to operate their business in West Dunbartonshire.”

To apply for a licence or for further information visit Short-term let licences | West Dunbartonshire Council (  Existing businesses can continue operating whilst their application is being processed.