From 1 October 2022, if you use a property to offer short-term lets in Scotland you’ll need to apply for a licence. This is to make sure they’re safe and that people providing them have been through all the required checks. It will also help local councils to understand the needs of their local areas and help with handling complaints.
Types of accommodation
The short-term let licensing scheme will cover residential and commercial accommodation including:
- B&B and guesthouse
- Boat (fixed and not used as transport)
- Exclusive use venue where accommodation is provided (that does not have a licence to sell alcohol)
- Holiday caravan or glamping pod that does not already have a caravan site licence
- Self-catering or holiday let
- Serviced apartment, either on its own, or up to four in a building
- Shared home or rooms within a home
- Shepherd hut
- Tent, tipi or wigwam
The scheme does not include:
B&Bs and guest houses with a licence to sell alcohol
Types of short-term let licence
There are 4 types of licence:
'home sharing' means you rent out all or part of your own home while you’re living there
'home letting' means letting all or part of your own home while you’re not there, for example while you are on holiday
'secondary letting' means letting a property where you do not normally live, for example a second home or holiday let
'home letting and home sharing' means you let out all of part of home both while you are living there and also at times when you are not there
Planning Control Areas
Your local council can make some or all of their region a short-term let control area. This means you will need planning permission as a part of your licence to let out your whole house in these areas.
Cost of the licence
The cost of the licence will be set by your local council and is likely to depend on the property size and type of let.
How to apply
You apply through your local council after 1 October 2022.
If you’re already using your property to provide short-term lets, you have until 1 April 2023 to apply for a licence. You’ll need to show evidence that you used the property for short-term lets before 1 October 2022. You can keep letting your property while you wait for the local council to approve your licence.
If you were not using your property to provide short-term lets before 1 October 2022, you must apply for a licence before you start offering lets. It’s against the law to take bookings or host guests before you have a licence.
If you do not apply for a licence on time, you could get a fine of up to £2,500 and banned from applying for a licence for a year.
Advice and information
- Read the new licencing act in full in The Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 (Licensing of Short-term Lets) Order 2022
- Read the licensing guidance for hosts and operators on Gov.Scot
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