Council issues short-term lets reminder

Campaign banner short term lets

Current hosts of short-term accommodation lets in Shetland have until 1st October 2023 to apply for a licence to be able to continue to operate and take bookings beyond that date. 

As part of the new national scheme that came into force in 1st March 2022, anyone who operates short-term lets must be licensed to do so.  The types of accommodation affected include B&Bs, guest houses, lodges, self-catering premises, AirBnB properties and anyone letting a room in their home. 

Across Scotland, local authorities are responsible for the administration of the scheme in their area.  Shetland Islands Council is reminding local hosts to make sure they submit, as a minimum, their application, plus floor plan, and fire safety checklist, before 1st October 2023, so that they can continue to operate after this date.  

Once received, applications will be considered as quickly as possible, although with a recent influx of applications, this may take some months.  

Applicants are encouraged to read guidance on the Council’s website which may avoid the need to call or email.  

Anyone with queries can e-mail Shetland Islands Council on or call the Council’s Environmental Health Team on 01595 745250

The licensing scheme aims to ensure all short-term lets are safe, and to ensure that any complaints and issues faced by neighbours can be addressed effectively.  All short-term lets in Scotland will need to be licensed by 1st July 2024 and operating without a licence after this date will be unlawful.

The national portal with guidance, including the types of accommodation that need a short-term let licence, can be found at 

Louise Moar, Team Leader – Environmental Health:  “We’re keen to remind anyone who has any short-term let accommodation in Shetland that they can’t operate beyond 1st October 2023 unless they have submitted an application to us.  We will then process applications as soon as possible and follow up with applicants with any queries where necessary.”  

Published: 19th September 2023