How short-term let licensing works
Guidance on the different types of licence and how you can get further information.
What is a short-term let licence?
Short-term let licensing was introduced across Scotland in October 2022. It means that anyone who wants to offer accommodation as a short-term let must get a licence from their council, unless that accommodation is excluded by law.
Types of short-term let licence
There are 4 types of short-term let licence.
Home sharing licence
You need this type of licence if you let out all or part of your own home while living there.
Home letting licence
You need this type of licence if you let out all or part of your own home while you're not there. For example, you need this licence if you let out your home while you're on holiday.
Secondary letting licence
You need this type of licence if you let out a property you do not normally live in. For example, you need this licence if you let out a second home or holiday let.
Home letting and home sharing licence
You need this type of licence if you let out all or part of your own home both:
- while you're living there
- at times when you're not there
Types of accommodation that need a licence
Unless it's excluded, any type of accommodation used for short-term lets needs a licence.
This includes residential and commercial accommodation, such as:
- B&Bs and guesthouses
- self-catering or holiday lets
- shepherds' huts
- tents, tipis or wigwams
Under short-term let licensing laws, certain types of accommodation are 'excluded' and do not need a licence. These include:
- holiday caravans within parks covered by a caravan site licence
- hotels, B&Bs or guesthouses with premises licensed under the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005
- self-catering accommodation in the grounds of premises licensed under the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005, as long as the accommodation is mentioned in the operating plan
You can find detailed information on excluded accommodation in section 5 of our short-term let licensing scheme policy statement.
How to check if you need a licence
If you'll be letting out your property for a short period, you must check whether you need a licence.
The quickest way to do this is to use mygov.scot’s short-term lets checker tool. If you do need a licence, this tool will also tell you which type you should apply for.
Important dates if you're applying for a licence
When you need to get a licence will depend on whether you're:
- an existing host, which means you provided short-term lets before 1 October 2022
- a new host, which means you did not provide short-term lets before 1 October 2022
If you're an existing host
You must apply for a licence before 1 April 2023.
You can keep letting your accommodation while you wait for a decision about your application.
The Scottish Government has announced a proposed change to the application deadline for existing hosts. If this proposal is approved by the Scottish Parliament, the new deadline will be 30 September 2023.
If you're a new host
If you were not a host before 1 October 2022, you cannot let your accommodation until you get a licence.
Final deadline for all hosts
All types of host must get a short-term let licence by 1 July 2024.
How to get a licence
If you want to get a licence for your accommodation, visit our short-term let licence application page.
Find out more about our licensing scheme
You can find detailed information on our short-term let licensing scheme in our policy statement.