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Short Term Lets Licensing Scotland

The Scottish Government has introduced a licensing regime for short-term lets in Scotland. The scheme will require local authorities to establish a short-term let licensing scheme by 1 October 2022. Most councils are still working on their policies (as of 26th September) so this really is going to be a last minute rush to understand what the requirements are!

If you are an existing host or operator (operating before 1 October 2022) you will have to apply for a licence before 1 April 2023. You can continue to receive guests and accept bookings while your application is being determined.

After 1 October 2022, new operators of short-term let accommodation must have a licence before taking any bookings. This also applies to existing operators who establish new short-term let accommodation after 1 October 2022.

By 1 July 2024, it will be illegal to operate a short-term let without a licence in all circumstances. Before 1 July 2024, it will be illegal in some circumstances, including:

  • Where a new host or operator starts operating while their application is being determined. Or where they continue to operate where a licence application has been refused
  • Where an existing host or operator continues to operate where a licence application has been refused

Planning requirementsl

Edinburgh City Council have made the whole city a planning control zone. This means that if you want to operate a holiday let in Edinburgh, you will first of all have to apply for planning ‘change of use’.

Perth & Kinross Council have not put any planning control zones in place however they are the only other council requiring ‘change of use’ in various instances including for all flats! The following checklist will help you determine if a planning application is required – https://www.pkc.gov.uk/media/50096/Do-I-need-planning-permission-for-a-short-term-let-checklist/pdf/STL_CHECKLIST.pdf?m=637986021282670000

Who does it apply to?

The licensing scheme applies to the whole of Scotland and for all accommodation operating on a short term let basis (there are some exclusions) including; cottages, flats, lodges, lighthouses, yurts, B&B’s, wigwam, castle etc.

Further information;

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