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Short-term Let Licencing and Planning

Need assistance on making a change of use planning application for a short-term let property? Contact Gilberts on the form below for obligation free advice and a quote for submitting your application. 

We advise on short-term lets planning applications in Scotland.

Licencing and Planning Permission for short-term lets.

The requirement to have a licence to operate a short-term let property and whether you also require planning consent are separate, but related issues.

Do I need a licence for my short-term let property?

Yes. From 1 October 2022, if you use a property to offer short-term lets in Scotland you’ll need to apply for a licence. 

How long do I have to apply for a licence?

It depends on whether you are a new of existing host.

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. 

What is the penalty for not having 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. 

Do I also need planning consent for my short-term let property?

It depends on where your property is located.

Since March 2021 your local council can make some or all 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 property in these areas.

Are there any exclusions?

Yes, the Short-term Let Control Area would not affect letting rooms or letting out the whole residential property where it is the owner’s principal home and the owner is absent. This allows for house swaps at holidays and for the host to let out the entire property when on holiday or working away, provided the property remains their only or principal home.

Which locations have been designated as Short-term Let Control Area?

The entire City of Edinburgh Council area was designated as Short-term Let Control Area on 23 February 2022. 

Planning Consent for change of use to short  term visitor commercial accommodation is therefore now required for a licence to be approved.

Gilberts consultancy services can help you with these new short-term letting rules in Edinburgh.

Which locations are likely to be designated as a Short-term Let Control Area?

East Lothian Council have completed a public consultation on whether to designation part or all the County as a Short-term Let Control Area. Their decision on whether to do so is expected in early Autumn 2022.

It is however, the view of East Lothian Council, that flatted properties should already require Planning Permission for change of use if they have been used for short-term let for under 10 years. 

If a Short-term Let Control Area is introduced then the requirement for Planning Consent will also apply to houses.

How do I make a planning application for a change of use?

Gilberts can make the application for you. Please complete the form below and we will send you further details.


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Gilberts Architects

Based in Edinburgh, Gilberts deliver Architecture projects throughout Scotland.