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How to apply for a short-term let licence

Apply through your local council's website. You can also find out what type of licence you need before you apply.

Check if you need a licence and how to apply

If you cannot find information about short-term let licences on your local council's website, you should contact them for help.

Deadline to apply for a licence

The deadline for applying for a short-term licence depends if you're an existing host or a new one.

Existing host

You have until 1 October 2023 to apply for a licence if you were already using your accommodation to provide short-term lets before 1 October 2022. 

When you apply, the council may ask for evidence you used the accommodation for short-term lets before 1 October 2022.

You can keep letting your accommodation while the council makes a decision about your licence application.

New host

You must apply for and get 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, you could get a fine of up to £2,500 and be banned from applying for a licence for a year. 

Transitional Period

You can continue offering short-term lets while your application is being processes if you:

  • used your accommodation as a short term let before 1 October 2022, and
  • applied for a short-term let licence before 1 October 2023

Local council processing times

  • transitional period for existing host – councils have up to 12 months to process your application (if you applied before 1 October 2023)
  • new host – councils have up to 9 months to process your application

If a local council does not reach a decision on your application in those timescales, you’ll automatically get a licence for up to one year.

This is unless the courts grant the local council an extension of the processing times.

How long a licence lasts

Local councils decide how long your licence will last for.

Your first licence can last for up to 3 years from the date it was issued.

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