Short-term let licence

If you use accommodation to offer short-term lets in Scotland you need to apply for a licence.

On 19th January 2022 the Scottish Parliament approved new legislation covering the licensing of short-term let properties. These licensing powers fall under the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 (Licensing of Short-term Lets) Order 2022 and came into force on 1st March 2022.

The licensing scheme was brought in by the Scottish Government with the aim to ensure short-term lets are safe, to address issues faced by neighbours regarding anti-social behaviour, to help local authorities in knowing and understanding what is happening in their area and handling complaints effectively. It also enables local authorities to ensure the people providing short-term lets are suitable.

The legislation aims to make sure that the economic and tourism benefits from short-term lets are balanced with the needs and concerns of local communities.

We are now preparing for the administration of the new scheme, developing the required policies and licensing conditions and the setting of application fees. This page will continue to be updated as we prepare the policies and licensing conditions. 

What is a short-term let

The short-term let licensing scheme will cover a wide range of residential and commercial accommodation including:

  • self-catering properties
  • bed and breakfasts
  • guest houses
  • glamping pods
  • certain mobile homes
  • cabins
  • yurts

Accommodation provided in the home of the host will also be included.

There are four types of short-term let licence:

  • Secondary letting - the letting of property where you do not normally live, for example a second home that is let to guests
  • Home letting - using all or part of your own home for short-term lets, whilst you are absent. An example of this could be whilst you are on holiday
  • Home sharing - using part of your own home for short-term lets, whilst you are in residence
  • Home letting and home sharing - operating short-term lets from your own home while you are living there and for periods when you are absent

The licensing scheme includes new mandatory safety requirements that will cover every type of short-term let. These are set out in the legislation as mandatory conditions of a licence. In addition, local conditions will also be applied that are relevant to our area.

It will also include a "fit and proper" test to assess whether an applicant is suitable to be the holder of a licence. We will carry out a consultation for every licence application with Police Scotland, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and various council services including the Planning and Development and Building Standards Services.

Timescales for Licensing

Existing hosts and operators

If you are an existing host or operator, and have already been using your property to provide short-term lets prior to 1st October 2022, you have until 1st April 2023 to apply for a licence.

Following an announcement from the Scottish Government, this timescale may be extended to 1st October 2023. We are awaiting confirmation of this extension, expected in early 2023. This will be a one-off, six-month extension, for existing hosts and operators only, to recognise the wider cost of living crisis that is placing pressure on existing short-term let hosts and businesses.

New hosts and operators

If you were not using your premises to provide short-term lets prior to 1st October 2022, you cannot take bookings or receive guests until you have a licence.

All hosts and operators need to have a licence at the very latest by 1st July 2024.

Fees

Fees depend on type of licence application and guest capacity of the property, and apply from 1st October 2022.

New application fees

Guest capacity (people) Home sharing or letting Secondary letting
1 to 2 £340 £450
3 to 4 £450 £600
5 to 9 £570 £760
10 to 15 £680 £850
16 or more people £850 £940

Other types of application:

  • Variation of licence or change in circumstances - £100
  • Duplicate licence - £50
  • Temporary consent - no fee

Renewal fees

Guest capacity (people) Home sharing or letting Secondary letting
1 to 2 £310 £405
3 to 4 £405 £540
5 to 9 £510 £690
10 to 15 £610 £770
16 or more people £770 £860

How to apply

If you are an existing short-term let host please don't apply yet as we will not accept your application. We are working on the application process for existing hosts and we will update this page with these details in due course.

Please view the application guidance notes (PDF 337KB) before completing your application.

View the short-term let licence privacy notice (PDF 173KB).

If you are a new host, you can apply by completing the application document, available in two formats:

Completed forms should be emailed to stl@aberdeenshire.gov.uk.

View and keep a copy of the licensing conditions and management standards (PDF 361KB) which form part of the licence.

Please note this is a new application process and is subject to change.

Displaying a site notice

You must complete and display a notice of application (PDF 105KB) for a period of 21 days from the date the application is submitted.

At the end of the 21 day period compliance certificate (PDF 77KB) should be completed and returned by email to stl@aberdeenshire.gov.uk.

What happens after

Once submitted, we will hold your application as pending whilst we finalise the online portal.

Planning permission, change of use or a certificate of lawfulness

We are not currently proposing to introduce planning control zones. As such, planning permission, change of use or a certificate of lawful use will not be required for existing short-term lets in Aberdeenshire.

Webinar

We hosted online information sessions about short-term let licencing and the application process. View the webinar recording, slides and questions and answers.

Contact

If you have any queries in relation to the Short-Term Let licensing scheme please email stl@aberdeenshire.gov.uk.