The definition of a "short term let" is defined in The Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 (Licensing of Short-term Lets) Order 2022 as:
the use of residential accommodation provided by a host in the course of business to a guest, where all of the following criteria are met—
(a) the guest does not use the accommodation as their only or principal home,
(b) the short-term let is entered into for commercial consideration,
(c) the guest is not:
(i) an immediate family member of the host,
(ii) sharing the accommodation with the host for the principal purpose of advancing the guest's education as part of an arrangement made or approved by a school, college, or further or higher educational institution, or
(iii) an owner or part-owner of the accommodation,
(d) the accommodation is not provided for the principal purpose of facilitating the provision of work or services by the guest to the host or to another member of the host's household,
(e) the accommodation is not excluded accommodation and
(f) the short-term let does not constitute an excluded tenancy
For the purposes of the definition detailed above, the legislation provides that a person ("A") is an immediate family member of another person ("B") if A is:
(a) in a qualifying relationship with B,
(b) a qualifying relative of B,
(c) a qualifying relative of a person who is in a qualifying relationship with B, or
(d) in a qualifying relationship with a qualifying relative of B.
Two people are in a qualifying relationship with one another if they are:
(i) married to each other,
(ii) in a civil partnership with each other, or
(iii) living together as though they were married
A "qualifying relative" means a parent, grandparent, child, grandchild or sibling,
(c) two people are to be regarded as siblings if they have at least one parent in common,
(d) a person's stepchild is to be regarded as the person's child,
(e) a person ("C") is to be regarded as the child of another person ("D"), if C is being or has been treated by D as D's child
When you apply for a Short Term Let licence, you must select what type of short term let you wish to operate. There are four different types. The four types are detailed below:
(a) Secondary letting - this is a host's accommodation which is not the host's principal home.
(b) Home Letting - this is the use of a host's home while host is away.
(c) Home Sharing - this is the use of a host's home while host is there.
(d) Home letting and Home sharing
There are legal definitions for "excluded accommodation" and "excluded tenancy" that are referred to in the legal definition of "Short Term Let". These are defined in The Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 (Licensing of Short-term Lets) Order 2022.
The Licensing Authority would always recommend that people take their own independent legal advice on whether or not their accommodation would require a STL licence. The Licensing Authority cannot provide legal advice on whether or not a premises is excluded from requiring a Short Term Let licence.
Please ensure you read the table below in relation to applying for a Short Term Let licence and operating a Short Term Let.
Hosts operating a STL before 1 October 2022
Never operated a STL before 1 October 2022
1 October 2022 onwards
• You can continue to operate your premises as a STL - must comply with existing laws and regulations;
• You must apply to the Licensing Authority where your premises is situated for a STL licence before 1 April 2023; and
• If your STL Licence application is refused by the Licensing Authority you must stop using your premises as a STL within 28 days of the decision.
• If you wish to operate a STL you must apply to the Licensing Authority in which your premises is situated; and
• Must not operate a STL without a licence being granted by the Licensing Authority where your premises is situated.
1 April 2023 onwards
• Can only operate without a licence if a STL licence application has been submitted to the Licensing Authority where your premises is situated by 1 April 2023 and it has not been refused by the Licensing Authority; and
• You must stop operating as a STL if your application is refused by the Licensing Authority, subject to appeal.
• Same as above.
1 April 2024 onwards
• All hosts must have a STL licence.
• Same as above
Please ensure you have read the Licensing and Regulatory Committee's Short Term Lets Policy [430kb] before applying.
Please note: You must have the following documentation to upload and submit with your application:
1. Planning permission or a Certificate of Lawfulness
Planning permission or a certificate of lawfulness for use of premises as short stay accommodation or a certificate of lawfulness confirming the extent of the use does not amount to a material change of use.
The table below provides detail as to when this is documentation is required with an application.
Please note if you do not have this documentation, where required, you will be unable to submit a Short Term Let licence application.
2. Floor/Layout Plan
Regardless of the type of Short Term Let licence you are applying for you must provide a floor plan of the premises, scale 1:50 showing at least the following:
Please note that your floor/layout plan does not need to be prepared by an architect.
For renewal applications (where you already have a licence), where there has been no change to the layout of the premises a floor plan would not be required with the application.
3. Consent from Owner(s) (this is only where the application is not being made by the owner of the Short Term Let premises)
An application for a STL licence does not have to be made by the owner of the premises. However, where an applicant other than the owner of the premises applies to the Licensing Authority for a STL licence, the applicant must provide consent from the owner, or if the title to the premises is held by more than one owner, all owners or a person authorised to act on behalf of the owner(s).
Where one or more owners
Where the premises is owned by more than one person (shared ownership) all owners will have to declare that they consent to the application, if one owner is submitting the application. These declarations would be required with the application.
All applicants for a Short Term Let licence will be required to display a statutory site notice. This site notice will advise the public of the Short Term Let licence application. The site notice must be displayed at or near the premises where it can be easily read, for 21 consecutive days. The last date for any members of the public to submit an objection or representation to the application will be detailed on the site notice as well as where and how to submit it to the Licensing Authority.
In addition, for every application received the Licensing Authority will consult with Police Scotland, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, the Community Council where the STL premises is situated and the Elected Members for the ward area in which the STL premises is situated. These consultees will also be able to submit an objection or representation to the application.
The Licensing and Regulatory Committee agreed a Short Term Lets Policy on 21 September 2022. This Policy includes information on the following:
There are mandatory conditions which must be attached. These are detailed within legislation. These conditions can be found at Appendix 1 of the Policy referred to above.
There are also additional conditions which the Committee agreed on 21 September 2022. These can be found at Appendix 2 of the Policy referred to above.
Maximum Occupancy applied for (4 or under)
Maximum Occupancy applied for (5 or more)
Home Letting or Home Sharing (or both)
Maximum Occupancy applied for (4 or under)
Maximum Occupancy applied for (5 or more )
Home Letting or Home Sharing (or both)
A variation application will be £75 for all types of STL licences
For maximum occupancy - please see section 14.2 of the Policy [430kb].
Please note this only relates to complaints where a Short Term Let is licensed. Unlicensed Short Term Let complaints should be directed to Police Scotland.
From Guests: In the first instance, the Licensing Authority would expect any concerns from guests to be raised with the host or operator and where this cannot be resolved they should contact the Licensing Authority be emailing to firstname.lastname@example.org. The email should state the licensed Short Term Let address and the concerns around the operation of the licence.
From Neighbours: In the first instance, the Licensing Authority would expect concerns from neighbours to be raised with the host or operator and where this cannot be resolved they should contact the Licensing Authority be emailing email@example.com. The email should state the licensed Short Term Let address and the concerns around the operation of the licence.
Applicants should note that where their Short Term Let licence application has been refused by the Licensing Authority they do have a right of appeal under the 1982 Act. An appeal should be made to the Sheriff Court within 28 days from the date of the refusal. Please note that the Licensing Authority cannot provide you with any advice in relation to an appeal.
Scottish Government Guidance on Short Term Lets can be found via https://www.gov.scot/publications/short-term-lets/