NO short-term let licence applications have been rejected so far by the Scottish Government, fresh statistics have shown.

All hosts are being reminded that they will need to apply for a licence before accepting bookings from October 1 under new regulations in Scotland.

So far, there has been an extremely low rate of applications in Scotland’s cities with Glasgow having totted up just 2.4 per 10,000 dwellings and Edinburgh 3.4.

Rates have also been low in Aberdeen (2.6) and Dundee (2.4).

Applications have been highest per 10,000 dwellings in Na h-Eileanan Siar (78) and Highland (75) council areas.

The Scottish Government published statistics on Thursday which show that across all 32 council areas, no applications have been turned away, with people being strongly urged to back the scheme.

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Housing minister Paul McLennnan said: “Quality short-term let accommodation is vital to Scotland’s tourism sector and wider economy. It aims to protect the reputation of responsible operators and ensure the sector is regulated in line with other accommodation such as hotels and caravan parks, giving guests assurance of consistent safety standards.

“There has been a lead time of almost two years to the October deadline. Operators can take confidence that local authorities are working pragmatically to support new licensees through the application process – and we can see from the information that no completed applications had been rejected in the period, or since.

“So, I would repeat calls to everyone within the industry to back the scheme and encourage short-term let operators to apply for a licence in good time.”

A total of 2587 applications had been sent to councils up to the end of March, with well over half of those send in in the first three months of this year.

Hosts can continue receiving guests while their application is being determined.

The scheme has caused some tension in recent days with SNP MSP Fergus Ewing joining the Tories, Labour and LibDems to call for a pause in it.

A total of 37 MSPs, including all 31 Conservatives and party leader Douglas Ross, three frontbench Labour MSPs and two LibDems signed a letter to the Humza Yousaf alongside Ewing.

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Ewing said that the “misconceived, costly, and bureaucratic” licensing system should be paused or it will cause “irreparable damage” to the sector.

But Maree McLeod, owner of The Gatehouse in Reay near Thurso, said the scheme would lead Scotland to become an international leader in the market.

He said: “The licensing scheme will ensure guests know properties like ours are of the highest standard and are compliant with the latest safety regulations. I have spent a lot of time and money ensuring our business is of the highest quality.

“It is therefore pleasing that other short-term lets will be brought to that same level. By doing this, Scotland will become an international leader in this market.

“The process of applying for a short-term let with Highland Council was made easy and straightforward because of the really helpful team there. I would encourage every owner to go through the process of obtaining a licence.”

Nearly all (99%) of the total 2587 valid applications received up to the end of March have been for a full licence.

As of the end of March, 63% of the 2587 valid applications received were awaiting determination, 33% had been granted with no additional conditions, 3% had been granted with additional conditions, 0.4% had been withdrawn, and none had been refused, revoked, suspended or lapsed.

Of the 950 applications granted by March 21, 14 were decided in October to December 2022, and 936 were decided in January to March this year.

As at March 21, there were 2085 licences or exemptions in operation, covering active licences as well as temporary exemptions.