Short-term let licensing application guidance notes

First published

05 Dec 2022

Last updated

06 Dec 2022

Disclaimer

These notes have been prepared as an outline of the licensing provisions in connection with short-term lets introduced by The Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 (Licensing of Short-term Lets) Scotland Order 2022. While every effort has been made to ensure accuracy, these notes are for general guidance only and do not constitute legal advice. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that they comply with the provisions of the Act, any statutory instruments made thereunder, the conditions outlined in the schedule attached to your licence and any policy/guidance notes issued by the Council.

Under no circumstances does Stirling Council or their employees or agents offer legal advice or accept liability of any description, including liability for negligence for any damages or losses (including without limitation, loss of business, revenue, profits, or consequential loss) whatsoever resulting howsoever including but not limited to the use of or inability to use this information. Stirling Council accepts no responsibility for keeping the information in these pages up to date or liability for any failure to do so. If you are in any doubt you must seek advice from a solicitor.

Applicants should note that the Scottish Government has produced guidance for hosts and operators regarding licensing provisions in connection with short-term lets.

Introduction

The Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 (Licensing of Short-term Lets) Scotland Order 2022 (“the Order”) requires all short-term let premises in Scotland to be licensed by the licensing authority in whose area the premises are situated. The aims of the licensing scheme are to ensure all short-term lets are safe; to facilitate licensing authorities in knowing and understanding what is happening in their area and to assist with handling complaints and effectively address issues faced by neighbours. This guidance provides advice to applicants about how to apply to Stirling Council for a licence in respect of premises situated in the Stirling Council area.

Definition of a short-term let

A short-term let is defined by the legislation as the use of residential accommodation provided by a host in the course of business to a guest, where all 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,

(f) the short-term let does not constitute an excluded tenancy,

Commercial consideration – this includes money and a benefit in kind (such as a provision of a service or reciprocal use of accommodation).

Guest – this means a person who occupies accommodation under a short-term let.

Host – this means a person who is the owner, tenant or person who otherwise exercises control over occupation and use of the accommodation.

Immediate family member – a guest is deemed to be an immediate family member of the host if they are:

1. Your partner (spouse, civil partner or someone you live with as if you were married to them).

2. Is you or your partner’s: parent or grandparent, child or grandchild or brother or sister.

3. Is the partner of one of your: parents or grandparents, children or grandchildren, or brothers or sisters.

Premises – means the accommodation which is the subject of an application for a short-term let licence or the subject of a short-term let licence.

Excluded premises

Certain premises are excluded (excluded accommodation) and will not need a licence. The Order specifically sets out that excluded accommodation means accommodation which is, or is part of the following:-

(a) an aparthotel,

(b) premises in respect of which a premises licence within the meaning of section 17 of the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 has effect and where the provision of accommodation is an activity listed in the operating plan as defined in section 20(4) of that Act,

(c) a hotel which has planning permission granted for use as a hotel,

(d) a hostel,

(e) residential accommodation where personal care is provided to residents,

(f) a hospital or nursing home,

(g) a residential school, college or training centre,

(h) secure residential accommodation (including a prison, young offenders institution, detention centre, secure training centre, custody centre, short-term holding centre, secure hospital, secure local authority accommodation, or accommodation used as military barracks),

(i) a refuge,

(j) student accommodation,

(k) accommodation which otherwise requires a licence for use for hire for overnight stays,

(l) accommodation which is provided by the guest,

(m) accommodation which is capable, without modification, of transporting guests to another location,

(n) a bothy, or

(o) accommodation owned by an employer and provided to an employee in terms of a contract of employment or for the better performance of the employee’s duties.

Excluded tenancies

You will not require a licence where certain tenancies are granted in respect of the premises e.g. private residential and social housing tenancies. The Order specifically sets out that an excluded tenancy means a tenancy which falls within any of the following definitions –

(a) a protected tenancy (within the meaning of section 1 of the Rent (Scotland) Act 1984),

(b) an assured tenancy (within the meaning of section 12 of the 1988 Act),

(c) a short assured tenancy (within the meaning of section 32 of the 1988 Act),

(d) a tenancy of a croft (within the meaning of section 3 of the 1993 Act),

(e) a tenancy of a holding situated outwith the crofting counties (within the meaning of section 61 of the 1993 Act) to which any provisions of the Small Landholders (Scotland) Acts, 1886 to 1931) applies,

(f) a Scottish secure tenancy (within the meaning of section 11 of the 2001 Act),

(g) a short Scottish secure tenancy (within the meaning of section 34 of the 2001 Act),

(h) a 1991 Act tenancy (within the meaning of section 1(4) of the 2003 Act),

(i) a limited duration tenancy (within the meaning of section 93 of the 2003 Act),

(j) a modern limited duration tenancy (within the meaning of section 5A of the 2003 Act),

(k) a short limited duration tenancy (within the meaning of section 4 of the 2003 Act),

(l) a tenancy under a lease under which agricultural land is let for the purpose of its being used only for grazing or mowing during some specified period of the year (as described in section 3 of the 2003 Act),

(m) a private residential tenancy (within the meaning of section 1 of the 2016 Act), or

(n) a student residential tenancy.

If you are in any doubt about whether your premises requires a short-term let licence, please contact the Council’s licensing team at shorttermletlicensing@stirling.gov.uk for general assistance.

How do I apply for a licence?

Licences are issued by the Licensing and Regulatory Team within the Council’s Governance Strategy and Performance Service. You will need to complete the short-term lets licence application form and submit this together with supporting documentation and the licence fee to the Council. You can complete the application form electronically and email it to shorttermletlicensing@stirling.gov.uk . Alternatively, you can complete a paper copy and send it to Private Rented Housing Team, Housing Services, Allan Water House, Stirling Council, Kerse Road, Stirling, FK7 7SG.

The Council will assess your suitability and that of the other people named on the application form and your compliance with the mandatory licence conditions applicable across Scotland.

Timescale for applying

After 1 October 2022, new hosts and operators will need to have a short-term let licence. This means, if you are not using your premises to provide short-term lets before 1 October 2022, you can advertise but not take bookings or receive guests until you have obtained a licence. This also applies to existing operators who establish a new short-term let accommodation after 1 October 2022.

Existing hosts and operators (those using accommodation to provide short-term lets before 1 October 2022) have until 1 April 2023 to apply for a licence. During this period you can operate without a licence (by continuing to take bookings and receive guests) unless your licence application has been determined and refused.

After 1 April 2023, existing hosts can only continue to operate if they have submitted an application for a short-term let licence on or before 1 April 2023 that has not yet been determined or been granted by Stirling Council.

Fee

You should pay the application fee by telephone, or by cheque made payable to Stirling Council. Full payment of the application fee should be made at the same time the completed application is submitted to Stirling Council. A Schedule setting out all Council fees relevant to the short-term let licence scheme can be found on the Council's short-term let licence application page.

The short-term let licence fee is calculated on a full cost recovery basis only. This means that, as far as possible, the licence fee represents the actual cost to Stirling Council of processing the licensing application. Once a licence application has been processed, these costs have been incurred. If your application is refused or granted for a shorter period than you applied for, the fee will not be refunded or reduced.

If required, the Council will undertake any on-site compliance checks required for applications, taking a proportionate and risk-based approach. The need for an inspection may be minimised if the supporting documents as part of the application form are sufficient to:

  • verify compliance with mandatory conditions; and
  • to determine the maximum occupancy number.

The application form

General points on completion

  • You must answer all of the questions as fully as you can as failure to do so may result in your application being returned to you. Your application will not be processed until you have provided all the necessary information. Unless and until a valid application is received the application will not be considered to have been made at all.
  • Check what supporting documentation you will need and ensure you have this before submitting your application to Stirling Council.
  • The application form should be completed in typescript, or where by hand, in block capitals in black ink.
  • Where the question requires a “Yes” or “No” answer please tick the answer that applies to you. The example question and answer below tells Stirling Council that you DO intend to carry out the day to day management of the premises;
    Q. Do you intend to carry out the day to day management of the premises ? YES -  NO - ☐
    Where the question asks you to tick one box only, please tick the box which indicates your answer.
  • If you have other information relevant to your application that you wish to include, use the space provided on “Additional Information Sheet” towards the end of the application form.

Section A. Licence details

You need a separate licence for each of your premises, whether or not they are all in the Stirling Council area. If your premises are not situated within the Stirling Council area, you need to make an application to the licensing authority for the relevant local authority area. You do not need a separate licence for short-term lets on the same premises e.g. if you are letting out two rooms in your home, that would be covered by one licence. One licence may also cover unconventional accommodation where there is more than one separately bookable property on the site.

  • Home Sharing – means using all or part of your own home for short-term lets whilst you are there.
  • Home Letting – means using all or part of your own home for short-term lets whilst you are absent, e.g. whilst you are on holiday.
  • Home Sharing and Home Letting – means you operate short-term lets from your own home while you are living there and also for periods when you are absent.
  • Secondary letting – means the letting of property where you do not normally live for example, a second home.

Dwellinghouse means an independent dwelling (with its own front door, kitchen and bathroom) such as a house, flat, cottage etc.

Unconventional accommodation means residential accommodation that is not defined as a dwellinghouse e.g. glamping pods, yurts etc.

Temporary licence

You can apply for a temporary licence for a duration of up to six weeks. A temporary licence cannot be renewed. If you apply for a full licence during the period of a temporary licence, the temporary licence may be extended until your full licence application is finally determined. Please note, an application for a temporary licence is subject to the same mandatory conditions which apply to all short-term let licences. It is also subject to the same consultation process. This means, you still need to provide the same supporting documentation whether you are applying for a full licence or a temporary licence. In accordance with the legislation, you do not have to display the site notice and return the certificate of compliance (appendix A of the application form) when you are applying for a temporary licence.

Applicant details

Indicate whether you are applying for a licence for the premises as an individual or as a corporate entity (e.g. a company or charity) by ticking one box. If you are self-employed running your own business you need to apply as an individual. You need to identify all the people who need to be named on the application form.

If you are applying as an individual, you need to provide the following information at Personal Details;

  • your full name;
  • your date and place of birth;
  • your address;
  • your address history for last five years; and
  • e-mail and telephone number.

If you are applying as a corporate entity (e.g. a company or a charity) you need to provide the following information at Corporate Entity;

  • your full name;
  • the address of its registered or principal office;
  • the names and private addresses and dates and places of birth of its directors, partners or other persons responsible for its management, including trustees in the case of charities.

If you require additional space to provide information, you can use the “additional information sheet” with the application.

Day-to-day management of the premises

Where you intend to appoint somebody else to manage your property, you need to provide the same details irrespective of whether you are applying as an individual or a corporate entity. If you have a letting agency to manage your accommodation, then your application form should name the directors, partners or others responsible for the letting agency. You do not need to name the employees of the agency. You do not need to name everyone with any involvement in your arrangements e.g. a cleaner or other people who enter the premises are not to be named for that reason alone.

Only those named as the licence holder can carry out the day to day management of the premises.

Please note, after a licence is granted if you decide to make different arrangements for the day-to-day management of the premises (e.g. passing responsibility to a letting agency) you must first notify and obtain approval from Stirling Council.

Previous/other short-term let licence details

You need to confirm whether you or anyone else named on the application has held a short-term let licence. This includes licenses issued by Stirling Council and those issued by any other Scottish licensing authority. If you or anyone else named on the application has held a short-term let licence, you need to provide the licensee’s full name, name of the licensing authority who granted the licence and the type of short-term let licence held on the application form.

Ownership of the premises

If you do not own the premises (or the land on which the premises are located), or if you share ownership, you must have the consent of each owner (or each other owner) for the licence application. If consent is required, your application will be refused if you do not provide it.

You must provide:

a) a declaration from each owner of the premises (or land on which the premises are located) that they consent to the application, or

b) a declaration from a person who is authorised to act on behalf of each owner of the premises (or land on which the premises are located).

A style/template declaration is provided on the Council’s proof of consent form page.

Premises

Provide the full address of the premises you are seeking a licence for including the postal code and the premises name if relevant.

Please indicate whether the premises were available for short-term let on or before 30 September 2022. Until 1 April 2023, the law applying to the scheme distinguishes between “existing hosts” and “new hosts”.

Description of premises

General written description

Provide a general written description of the premises. Try and write your description as though you are describing your premises to someone who does not know it at all. Describe the type of building e.g. is it detached, semi-detached, in a terrace, part of a tenement etc. Describe whether the property is spread over a number of floors e.g. ground 1st and 2 nd floors or if not state e.g. ground floor only but other property is above. Describe where the premises are located e.g. in town centre, in a village, in rural/countryside location etc. Describe the type of properties surrounding the premises, e.g. residential area, commercial area, mixed residential/commercial, shopping area etc. If the premises you are seeking a licence for is not a dwellinghouse, e.g. a pod(s) in a field, you should describe the premises in as much detail as possible.

Floor/Layout plan

You must include a detailed floor/layout plan with your application. There is no requirement for the plan to be drawn by an architect or other professional you can draw it yourself. Please note, the plan should be drawn to scale (see below). You must ensure it is clear. Unclear plans may be returned to you. You can use legend and symbols on the plan as well as colour coding to indicate particular areas e.g. the areas guests may/may not have access to.

Your plan should indicate:-

  • The extent and dimensions of the boundary of the building and any external and internal walls of the building, and, if different, the perimeter and dimensions of the premises.
  • The dimensions of all bedrooms, living room and kitchen toshow the length, width and height of each of these rooms.
  • The location and names of any streets/roads surrounding the premises from which guests have access to the premises.
  • The location and width of each point of access to and egress from the premises.
  • The room sizes.
  • Fire escape routes.
  • Steps, stairs both internally and externally.
  • Elevators and/or lifts.
  • Accommodation intended for guests with mobility impairment.
  • You must clearly indicate the extent and boundary of the building. If the premises is not a dwellinghouse e.g. pod(s)/yurt(s) in a field, the plan should indicate the size of the field as well as the individual pod(s)/yurt(s) itself.

Scale

The plan should be drawn to scale where 1 millimetre represents 50 millimetres. Generally, a scale of 1:50 will prevent loss of detail and enable easier reading of the plan by Stirling Council officers. In addition, when determining the maximum number of occupants which can be safely accommodated in the premises and other mandatory licence conditions, a scale of 1:50 is in line with drawings rather than simple layouts.

Where premises are quite large such that a scale of 1:50 would not reasonably fit onto A1 paper then we suggest you choose a scale where 1 millimetre represents 100 millimetres (i.e. 1:100).

Please indicate the scale you are using clearly on the layout/floor plan.

Third party accreditation or certification

If the premises has been awarded accreditation or certification by a third party provide full details of the name of the awarding party, date of the award and level of award e.g. number of stars.

Rooms

You must detail the total number of rooms within the premises as well as the total number of letting bedrooms, total number of beds available for use by the guests, total number of public rooms available for use by the guests e.g. lounge/dining room etc. and the total number of rooms used for the owners/manager’s private accommodation.

Catering

You must confirm whether or not you provide catering at/on the premises. Answer each catering question by confirming yes or no.

General safety and standards

This section of the application form asks you questions regarding the general safety and standards applicable to the premises.

Fire safety

The Order sets out conditions around fire safety which the Council will check you are compliant with when considering your application. You are required to ensure that the premises has satisfactory equipment installed for detecting, and for giving warning of;

(a) fire or suspected fire, and

(b) carbon monoxide present in a concentration that is hazardous to health.

You must make sure you have taken adequate steps to ensure fire prevention, including fitting and maintaining working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. Further details about this can be found in the Scottish Government Guidance, Tolerable Standard Guidance: Satisfactory Fire Detection and Satisfactory Carbon Monoxide Detection.

Any upholstered furnishings and mattresses within the parts of the premises intended for guest use, or to which the guests are allowed access to, must comply with the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire Safety) Regulations 1988 and you need to keep records to evidence your compliance. Ways to comply with this condition could be by keeping photographic evidence, removing and retaining the labels themselves or by keeping receipts which confirm compliance (e.g. by providing a reference number or accurate description of the product). You would then be able to provide these if requested. If you are home sharing (i.e. letting out a room in your home), the requirement does not apply to areas of your accommodation to which your guest does not have access e.g. your bedroom.

In addition to the conditions within the Order, you must comply with the requirements of the Fire (Scotland) Act 2005, which the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service are responsible for enforcing. The 2005 Act requires the person who has control of the premises to provide fire safety measures, including risk reduction measure, means of fire warning, fire-fighting, escape, staff training and instruction, as well as emergency procedures and maintaining of good records. It sets out fire safety responsibilities and seeks to ensure people are safe from harm. You can find out more in the Scottish Government Publication, Fire Safety – existing premises with sleeping accommodation: practical guidance.

You can find out more information about how to conduct a fire risk assessment directly from the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service including information about registered and accredited fire risk assessors.

You must complete the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service’s checklist and send a copy of your completed checklist to Stirling Council with your licence application.

F.2.2 Gas safety

If the premises has a gas supply you must arrange for an annual gas safety inspection of all gas pipes, flues and appliances in the premises. If, after an annual inspection, any appliance does not meet the required safety standard, you must not allow a short-term let of the premises until the works necessary to bring the appliance to the required safety standard have been carried out.

If the premises does have a gas supply, you must provide a copy of the most recent Gas Safety Certificate for the premises with your application to Stirling Council. Stirling Council will check that a currently valid, annual gas safety check has been carried out on all gas appliances by a Gas Safe registered engineer. It is your responsibility to ensure that a gas safety inspection is completed each year even if your licence lasts for more than one year.

Electrical safety

Where there are electrical fittings or items within the parts of the premises which are for guest use, or to which the guests are allowed access to, you must:-

(a) ensure that any electrical fittings and items are in a reasonable state or repair and proper and safe working order,

(b) arrange for an electrical safety inspection to be carried out by a competent person at least every five years or more frequently if directed by the competent person,

(c) ensure that, following an electrical safety inspection, the competent person produces an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) on any fixed installations,

(d) arrange for a competent person to

(i) produce a Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) Report on moveable appliances to which a guest has access, and

(ii) date label and sign all moveable appliances which have been inspected.

The Order sets out that when deciding who is a competent person, you must have regard to the guidance issued by the Scottish Ministers under 19B(4) of the Housing (Scotland) Act 2006.

The Scottish Government has produced statutory guidance on electrical installations and appliances in private rented property. Annex A of that guidance sets out who is competent to conduct an Electrical Installation Condition Report. You may find this helpful as the standards that apply to private residential tenancies also apply to short-term lets.

A competent person must produce both the Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) and the Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) Report but it need not be the same person.

Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) means a report containing the following information:-

(a) the date on which the inspection was carried out,

(b) the address of the premises inspected,

(c) the name, address and relevant qualification of the person who carried out the inspection,

(d) a description, and the location, of each installation, fixture, fitting and appliance inspected,

(e) any defect identified,

(f) any action taken to remedy a defect.

If there are electrical fittings or items within the premises intended for guest use or which the guests are allowed access to, you must provide a copy of the most recent Electrical Installation Condition Report on fixed installations to Stirling Council with your licence application.

If guests have access to, or are permitted to have access to moveable electrical appliances within the premises you must also provide a copy of the most recent Portable Appliance Testing Report on moveable appliances with your application.

A moveable electrical appliance generally means any item that can be moved, either connected or disconnected from an electrical supply.

Water safety

If the premises has a water supply that is not supplied by Scottish Water (i.e. a private water supply) then you need to comply with the requirements on the owners of private dwellings set out in the Water Intended for Human Consumption (Private Supplies) (Scotland) Regulations 2017. You can find more information and guidance from the Drinking Water Quality Regulator for Scotland in Guidance on the Water Intended for Human Consumption (Private Supplies)(Scotland) Regulations 2017.

Whether or not your premises are served by a private water supply or Scottish Water, you must assess the risk from exposure to legionella within the premises. This means you should complete a legionella risk assessment. The risk assessment does not need to be carried out by a professional; you can do it yourself. You must keep a record of what assessment you have carried out and provide a copy of the risk assessment you have carried out in respect of legionella to Stirling Council with your licence application. You can find out more on the Health and Safety Executive webpage on legionella and landlords’ responsibilities.

The Council website also has a legionella risk assessment form and guidance sheet.

Safety and repair standards

You must take all reasonable steps to ensure the premises is safe for residential use. The Order and these guidance notes cannot anticipate every circumstance.

Repairing standard

If the premises is a dwellinghouse, you must ensure that the premises meet the repairing standard. “Repairing standard” means the steps which the holder of the licence is required to take to comply with the obligations placed on the holder by Chapter 4 of Part 1 of the Housing Scotland Act 2006.

The repairing standard requires;

  • the premises are wind and water tight and in all other respects reasonably fit for people to live in;
  • the structure and exterior (including drains, gutters and external pipes) must be in a reasonable state of repair and in proper working order;
  • installations for supplying water, gas and electricity and for sanitation, space heating and heating water must be in a reasonable state of repair and in working order;
  • any fixtures, fittings and appliances that you provide for guests must be in a reasonable state of repair and in proper working order;
  • any furnishings that you provide for guests must be capable of being used safely for the purpose for which they are designed;
  • the premises must have a satisfactory way of detecting fires and for giving warning in the event of a fire or suspected fire;
  • the premises must have satisfactory provision for giving warning if carbon monoxide is present in a concentration that is hazardous to health;
  • the premises must meet the statutory tolerable standard.

Tolerable standard

The tolerable standard is the minimum standard for all housing and premises which fall below this standard is considered to be unfit for human habitation. The repairing standard is higher and all housing which meets the repairing standard must meet the tolerable standard. Private residential tenancies and Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) are also required to meet the requirements of the repairing standard.

You can find more information about both the repairing and tolerable standards by clicking the following links;

Scottish Government guidance on the Repairing Standard

mygov.scot guidance on the Tolerable Standard

Energy Performance Certificate

Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) means a certificate which complies with regulation 6 of the Energy Performance of Buildings (Scotland) Regulations 2008. If you are using a dwellinghouse for secondary letting, you must have a valid EPC Certificate issued within the last 10 years. You can find out more in the Scottish Government guidance on EPC requirements for holiday lets.

If you have an EPC for the premises, please tick the relevant EPC Rating (options are A to G) box which applies to your premises. If you have an EPC for the premises, you must enclose a copy with your application.

Building warrant

You must confirm whether there has been any building work carried out on the premises in the last ten years on the application form. If there has, you must specify what building work has been carried out. A building warrant is normally required if you intend to erect, alter, extend, demolish or change the use of any building. A building warrant gives you permission for the design and construction of the work and includes things like fire protection and escape, drainage, energy conservation and safety and wellbeing of occupants. Building regulations make sure that the work meets minimum standards. It is the building owner’s responsibility to establish whether a building warrant or any other permission is required prior to the commencement of any building operations.

For more information, see the Council's building warrants advice webpage.

Insurance

Under this section you are asked to provide details of both your buildings insurance and public liability insurance policies. The holder of the licence must ensure that there is valid buildings insurance for the duration of the licence in place for the premises. The holder of the licence must also ensure that there is valid public liability insurance for not less than £5 million in place for the premises for the duration of each short-term let agreement.

Planning permission

If you have decided to let either all or part of your premises for short-term let, you may be required to apply for a “change of use” planning permission. Planning permission can be required in situations whereby using the premises as a short-term let amounts to a “material change of use”. While there is no statutory definition of “material change of use” Planning Guidance explains that a material change of use is a matter of fact and degree and cases are decided on their individual merits. You can find more information by reading the Council's planning permission page.

You must check whether you need planning permission before you submit an application for a short-term let. If you do need planning permission, you should apply for this before you apply for a short-term let licence.

Stirling Council’s Private Rented Housing Team will be notified by the Council’s Planning Service if planning permission has been refused in respect of the premises. Any application for a short-term let licence contingent on planning permission will then be refused, varied or revoked as appropriate.

On 1 March 2022, the Town and Country Planning (Short-term Let Control Areas)(Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2022 came into force. You must have made an application for planning permission if your premises is in a control area, you are using it for secondary letting and it is a dwellinghouse. If this applies to you, then you must have made an application for planning permission or already have planning permission before you apply for a licence. You must also make sure that you continue to have planning permission whilst you have a licence.

If you need planning permission and you do not have it, the Council can refuse to consider your application.

Stirling Council has 21 days from receipt of a valid application to decide to refuse to consider the application on this ground. If we refuse to consider your application for this reason, we will tell you within seven days and explain why we are refusing to consider your application.

Please note, it is possible that Stirling Council or Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park Planning Authority could designate a control area affecting your premises depending with planning authority your premises is located after you have been granted a licence. Should this happen, in order to comply with the mandatory licence condition, you should submit a planning application as soon as possible after the control area is designated. Stirling Council will make reasonable allowance for you to do this.

Occupancy and availability

Please note, if you have a HMO licence for the premises, you still need a short-term let licence if the premises is also to be used for short-term lets. You will also still need a short-term let licence whether or not you live at the premises covered by your HMO licence.

You must detail the total number of guests you would like to accommodate at any one time in the premises as well as a breakdown of the total number of both adult and child (aged under 10) guests.

It is a mandatory condition that hosts and operators ensure that they do not exceed the maximum number of guests for their premises. This includes making the maximum occupancy clear on adverts and listings and in booking terms and conditions. Please note, while you are asked to indicate on the application form how many guests you would like to accommodate, that number is subject to verification and confirmation. Stirling Council will determine the maximum occupancy permitted in terms of the licence. If you would like more information about how Stirling Council will determine the maximum occupancy for short-term let licences, please see our Short-Term Lets Licensing Scheme Policy Statement.

You must indicate how often you intend to make the premises available to guests by ticking the box that applies to you

Criminal convictions

This section asks whether you, or anyone named on the application form has ever been convicted of any crime or offence. Please note that this includes driving fixed penalties. Full details of the need to disclose convictions appear on the website.

Unspent convictions

Unspent convictions must always be disclosed.

Spent convictions

A spent conviction is a criminal conviction that, under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974, can be treated as “spent” after a certain length of time. Although you are not required to disclose any convictions which are “spent”, the Police may raise an objection on the basis of any spent convictions you may have and the Council may thereafter decide to consider these if they are determined to be relevant to your application. If you think a conviction is spent you should seek independent legal advice.

Failure to disclose convictions is a criminal offence and any applicant failing to disclose a conviction may be reported to the Procurator Fiscal with a view to prosecution.

Residence outside the UK

If you or anyone else named in the application have lived outside of the UK for a continuous period of 12 months or more you must provide details of all the Countries lived in. You must provide evidence of criminal history for you and anyone else named in the application.

If you, or anyone else named in the application, were born in the UK but have lived in any other country within the ten years prior to your application for a continuous period of 12 months or more you must provide a Criminal Record Check for all those countries for the relevant period(s).

If you, or anyone else named in the application, were born outwith the UK you must provide a Criminal Record Check from your country of origin for the time of residence there IF it was in the last 10 years, unless you, or anyone else named in the application, left that country without reaching the criminal age of responsibility. You must also provide a Criminal Record Check from any other country in which you, or anyone else named in the application, have resided for a continuous period of 6 months or more in the 10 years prior to the application.

In all cases, the Criminal Record Checks provided must:-

  • have been obtained within the six months immediately prior to submitting the application; and
  • be translated into English; and
  • be verified by the relevant UK based Embassy or High Commission.

Note: The certificate must be produced before the licence can be granted. Whilst it is desirable for the applicant to produce the certificate with the application, it is not a strict requirement. This is so any applicant having difficulties will not be disadvantaged by delays to processing the application.

At the applicants choosing, the application can be accepted as valid without the convictions evidence but the evidence should be provided as soon as possible. In this way the convictions evidence will be a check rather than a validation. Applicants should still note, however, that the licence cannot be granted without the evidence having being produced. Therefore if the application is approaching the determination time limit without the evidence being produced, the application may be refused for failure to comply with administrative provisions.

If you are experiencing difficulties in obtaining a certificate then please contact the Private Rented Housing Team team to discuss your options. It may be possible to accept alternative evidence, for example: evidence of checks having been carried out by another government body; affidavits; or character references.

Declaration

You (or an agent on your behalf) are required to sign and date the following three declarations on the application form:-

1. Display of public notice

You (or an agent on your behalf) are required to sign and date the application confirming that you will display a public notice complying with the requirements of Paragraph 2(2) of the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982.

You must notify your neighbours about your application for a licence by displaying a site notice at or near the short-term let premises so it can be conveniently read by the public. The site notice should be displayed for a period of 21 days from the date a valid licence application was submitted to Stirling Council.

A form which can be used for this purpose is provided in Appendix 1 to the application form.

Once the site notice has been displayed for a period of 21 days, you must complete the confirmation of display notice and return the confirmation together with the site notice to Stirling Council at Private Rented Housing Team, Housing Services, Stirling Council, Allan Water House, Kerse Road, Stirling, FK7 7SG. You may also wish to consider submitting additional evidence demonstrating compliance such as a time stamped photograph of the site notice in situ.

2. Compliance with mandatory licence conditions

You (or an agent on your behalf) are also required to sign and date the application confirming that you have met the mandatory licence conditions set out in the Order.

3. Declaration that information on application is true

You (or an agent on your behalf) are required to sign and date the application confirming that all information provided on the application form is true. If you are submitting your application electronically, you can use an electronic signature.

Please note, it is an offence for any person to make a statement which he knows to be false in the application or in connection with the making of the application.

Public notice of application for short-term lets licence and confirmation of display notice

Applicants are required to display a site notice at or near premises so it can be conveniently read by the public for a period of 21 days beginning with the date on which a valid application was submitted to Stirling Council.

Applicants required by para 2(4) of schedule 1 to the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 to certify compliance that they have displayed the site notice as soon as possible after the 21 days have expired.

A template public notice of application for a short-term lets licence and confirmation of display notice are provided in appendix 1.

Application checklist

A checklist is provided with the application form for a short-term let licence. The application checklist is a list intended to provide a helpful starting point for checking you have the relevant information required in order to submit an application for a short-term let licence. Getting your application right first time will make the process easier for you and will help you to get a decision more quickly.

You must fully complete the checklist. You should click the relevant YES or NO checkboxes to answer each question and/or to confirm you HAVE submitted the required copies of documents.

Style declaration of owner(s)

A style declaration and consent of owners or other owners is provided on the Council’s proof of consent document page.

Legionella risk assessment template

Whether or not the premises is supplied by a private water supply, you are required to carry out a legionella risk assessment at the premises. To do help with this, we've produced a legionella risk assessment guidance and template document.

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service checklist

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service have designed their own checklist for premise owners. The form is split into two sections, the first being the premise profile and the second asking for information to ensure that a fire risk assessment is suitable and sufficient. You can find this document on our Scottish Fire and Rescue Service checklist page.

You must complete the form and submit it along with your application to Stirling Council.

Consultations

Every person named on the application form is subject to the fit and proper person test. Stirling Council will determine whether you, or anyone else named on the application form, is a fit and proper person to offer accommodation for short-term let in the Stirling area. Stirling Council will assess the fitness of the applicant and any agents or day-to-day managers to be involved in providing short-term lets. In deciding this, Stirling Council will take account of the following factors:-

  • any relevant convictions and other relevant information obtained from Police Scotland,
  • being disqualified from being a private landlord or having had letting agent or property factor registration revoked now or in the past,
  • having had a licence for short-term lets or HMO revoked by any licensing authority,
  • having had an application for short-term lets licence refused by any licensing authority; and
  • providing false or misleading information in an application for a short-term lets licence, HMO licence or application to be a private landlord.

When determining your application, Stirling Council will consult with the following;

  • Police Scotland
  • Scottish Fire and Rescue Service
  • Stirling Council Environmental Health Service
  • Stirling Council Planning Service (where applicable
  • Loch Lomond & Trossachs & National Park Planning Authority (where applicable)
  • Stirling Council Building Standards Service

Timescales for determination

Existing hosts who make an application before 1 April 2023 can continue operating whilst their application is being determined. Stirling Council has 12 months to determine these applications beginning with the date a valid application was made. This extension to the time limit for determining an initial application is designed to assist Stirling Council manage the volume of applications received.

In all other cases, Stirling Council has 9 months from the date a valid application is made to consider and determine each application for short-term lets.

If Stirling Council fails to determine your application within the timescale set out above, your short-term let licence will be deemed to have been granted unless Stirling Council is given an extension by the Court. If your short-term let licence is deemed to have been granted it is valid for the period of one year. The mandatory conditions that apply to all short-term lets would also apply to the deemed grant of a licence.

Public register

Stirling Council is required to maintain a public register of short-term let licences. The register is available to the public electronically and includes the following information about short-term let premises;

Personal information:-

  • Names and registered offices (where an application is made on behalf of a company/corporate body)
  • Names of any day-to-day managers
  • Contact details for the manager of the premises, if different from the applicant, and
  • Address of the premises including postcode and Unique Reference Number

Other information:-

  • number of bedrooms in the premises
  • data on availability and maximum occupancy or the premises
  • the Energy Performance Certificate rating
  • Identify whether the premises is within a National Park

Licence holder responsibilities upon obtaining a licence

Information to be displayed

You (as licence holder) must make the following information available within the premises in a place where it is accessible to all guests—

a) a certified copy of the licence and the licence conditions,

b) fire, gas and electrical safety information,

c) details of how to summon the assistance of emergency services,

d) a copy of the gas safety report,

e) a copy of the Electrical Installation Condition Report, and

f) a copy of the Portable Appliance Testing Report.

How you do this is up to you. The important point is that guests can access the information easily. You may wish to consider providing digital copies alongside booking information.

“gas safety report” means a report containing the following information-

(a) the date on which the appliance or flue was checked,

(b) the address on the premises at which the appliance or flue is installed,

(c) a description of and the location of each appliance or flue checked,

(d) any safety defect identified,

(e) any remedial action taken,

(f) confirmation that the check undertaken complies with the requirements of an examination of-

(i) the effectiveness of any flue,

(ii) the supply of combustion air,

(iii) subject to head (iv), its operating pressure or heat input or, where necessary, both,

(iv) if it is not reasonably practicable to examine its operating pressure or heat input (or, where necessary, both), its combustion performance,

(v) its operation so as to ensure its safe functioning,

(g) the name and signature of the individual carrying out the check, and

(h) the registration number with which that individual, or that individual’s employer, is registered with a body approved by the Health and Safety Executive for the purposes of regulation 3(3) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998.

Listings

You must ensure that any listing or advert (whether electronic or otherwise) for the premises includes;

a) the licence number

b) the maximum number of guests permitted to reside in the premises, and

c) a valid Energy Performance Certificate rating if you are required to have one for the premises.

You must display your licence number on any listing or advert. Where you have electronic listings or adverts you should update your listing or advert as soon as you receive your licence.

Complying with licence conditions

You must ensure that you comply with all the mandatory and any other conditions on your licence. It is a criminal offence for a licence holder to fail to comply with a licence condition.

You must notify Stirling Council of any material change to your circumstances during the period of the licence. It is a criminal offence to fail to notify Stirling Council of a material change in circumstances.

Mandatory licence conditions

The mandatory licence conditions are set out in Schedule 3 of the Order. Every applicant for a short-term let licence must meet and adhere to the statutory mandatory conditions which are:-

1. Agents

Only those named as a holder of the licence can carry out the day to day management of the short-term let of the premises.

2. Type of licence

The holder of the licence may only offer the type of short-term let for which the licence has been granted.

3. Fire safety

The holder of the licence must ensure the premises has satisfactory equipment installed for detecting, and for giving warning of –

(a) fire or suspected fire, and

(b) the presence of carbon monoxide in a concentration that is hazardous to health.

4. The holder of the licence must keep records showing that all upholstered furnishings and mattresses within the parts of the premises which are for guest use, or to which the guests are otherwise permitted to have access, comply with the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire Safety) Regulations 1988.

5. Gas safety

Where the premises has a gas supply –

(a) the holder of the licence must arrange for an annual gas safety inspection of all gas pipes, flues and appliances in the premises,

(b) if, after an annual inspection, any appliance does not meet the required safety standard, the holder of the licence must not allow a short-term let of the premises until the works necessary to bring the appliance to the required safety standard have been carried out.

6. Electrical safety

Where there are electrical fittings or items within the parts of the premises which are for guest use, or to which the guests are permitted to have access, the holder of the licence must—

(a) ensure that any electrical fittings and items are in—

(i)a reasonable state of repair, and

(ii)proper and safe working order,

(b) arrange for an electrical safety inspection to be carried out by a competent person at least every five years or more frequently if directed by the competent person,

(c) ensure that, following an electrical safety inspection, the competent person produces an Electrical Installation Condition Report on any fixed installations,

(d) arrange for a competent person to—

(i)produce a Portable Appliance Testing Report on moveable appliances to which a guest has access, and

(ii)date label and sign all moveable appliances which have been inspected.

7. Housing Act guidance on competent persons

In determining who is competent, the holder of the licence must have regard to guidance issued by the Scottish Ministers under section 19B(4) of the Housing (Scotland) Act 2006.

8. Water safety: private water supplies

Where the premises are served by a private water supply, the licence holder must comply with the requirements on the owners of private dwellings set out in the Water Intended for Human Consumption (Private Supplies) (Scotland) Regulations 2017.

9. Water safety: Legionella

The holder of the licence must assess the risk from exposure to legionella within the premises, whether or not the premises are served by a private water supply.

10. Safety and repair standards

(1) The holder of the licence must take all reasonable steps to ensure the premises are safe for residential use.

(2) Where the premises are subject to the requirements of Chapter 4 of Part 1 of the Housing (Scotland) Act 2006, the holder of the licence must ensure that the premises meet the repairing standard.

11. Maximum occupancy

The licence holder must ensure that the number of guests residing on the premises does not exceed the number specified in the licence.

12. Information to be displayed

The holder of the licence must make the following information available within the premises in a place where it is accessible to all guests –

(a) a certified copy of the licence and the licence conditions,

(b) fire, gas and electrical safety information,

(c) details of how to summon the assistance of emergency services,

(d) a copy of the gas safety report

(e) a copy of the Electrical Installation Condition Report, and

(f) a copy of the Portable Appliance Testing Report.

13. Planning permission

Where the premises is in a short-term let control area for the purposes of section 26B of the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997 (“the 1997 Act”), the holder of the licence must, where the use of the premises for a short-term let requires planning permission under the 1997 Act, ensure that either –

(a) an application has been made for planning permission under the 1997 Act and has not yet been determined, or

(b) planning permission under the 1997 Act is in force.

14. Listings

(1) The holder of the licence must ensure that any listing or advert (whether electronic or otherwise) for the short-term let of the premises includes –

(a) the licence number, and

(b) a valid Energy Performance Certificate rating if an Energy Performance Certificate is required for the premises, in accordance with the Energy Performance of Buildings (Scotland) Regulations 2008.

(2) The holder of the licence must ensure that any listing or advert (whether electronic or otherwise) for the short-term let of the premises is consistent with the terms of the short-term let licence.

15. Insurance

The holder of the licence must ensure that there is in place for the premises –

(a) valid buildings insurance for the duration of the licence, and

(b) valid public liability insurance for the duration of each short-term let agreement.

16. Payment of fees

The holder of the licence must pay any fees due to the licensing authority in respect of the licence on demand.

17. False or misleading information

The holder of the licence must not provide any false or misleading information to the licensing authority.

18. Interpretation

In this schedule –

Electrical Installation Condition Report” means a report containing the following information—

(a) the date on which the inspection was carried out,

(b) the address of the premises inspected,

(c) the name, address and relevant qualifications of the person who carried out the inspection,

(d) a description, and the location, of each installation, fixture, fitting and appliance inspected,

(e) any defect identified,

(f) any action taken to remedy a defect,

“Energy Performance Certificate” means a certificate which complies with regulation 6 of the Energy Performance of Buildings (Scotland) Regulations 2008,

“gas safety report” means a report containing the following information—

(a) the date on which the appliance or flue was checked,

(b) the address of the premises at which the appliance or flue is installed,

(c) a description of and the location of each appliance or flue checked,

(d) any safety defect identified,

(e) any remedial action taken,

(f) confirmation that the check undertaken complies with the requirements of an examination of—

(i) the effectiveness of any flue,

(ii) the supply of combustion air,

(iii) subject to head (iv), its operating pressure or heat input or, where necessary, both,

(iv) if it is not reasonably practicable to examine its operating pressure or heat input (or, where necessary, both), its combustion performance,

(v) its operation so as to ensure its safe functioning,

(g) the name and signature of the individual carrying out the check, and

(h) the registration number with which that individual, or that individual’s employer, is registered with a body approved by the Health and Safety Executive for the purposes of regulation 3(3) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998,

“holder of the licence” means any person to whom a short-term let licence has been granted or jointly granted,

“home letting” means a short-term let consisting of the entering into of an agreement for the use, while the host is absent, of accommodation which is, or is part of, the host’s only or principal home,

“home sharing” means a short-term let consisting of the entering into of an agreement for the use, while the host is present, of accommodation which is, or is part of, the host’s only or principal home,

“premises” means the accommodation which is the subject of an application for a short-term licence or the subject of a short-term licence,

“repairing standard” means the steps which the holder of the licence is required to take to comply with the obligations placed on the holder by Chapter 4 of Part 1 of the Housing (Scotland) Act 2006,

“secondary letting” means a short-term let consisting of the entering into of an agreement for the use of accommodation which is not, or is not part of, the licence holder’s only or principal home,

“short-term let” has the same meaning as in article 3 of the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 (Licensing of Short-term Lets) Order 2022,

“short-term let licence” means a licence for a short-term let, and

“type of short-term let” means one of the following purposes—

(a) secondary letting,

(b) home letting,

(c) home sharing, or

(d) home letting and home sharing.

Mandatory licence conditions (Stirling Council)

Stirling Council has power to supplement additional conditions to a Short-Term licence in addition to the mandatory licence conditions required under the legislation.

1.  Disposing of refuse

a) The licence holder shall provide guests, no later than two days from the booking date, with an information leaflet on how to dispose of refuse (including general and recyclable refuse) properly and appropriately from the licensed premises.

This condition will be included in all licences to ensure that the disposal of refuse is in accordance with Stirling Council’s current policy and procedures on the storage and collection of general household refuse and recyclable refuse.

b) The licence holder shall take all reasonable steps to ensure that the appropriate refuse facilities (for both general and recyclable refuse) in line with Stirling Council‘s current policy on the storage and collection of refuse, are available at all times either in the communal areas surrounding the premises or within the premises boundary where there are no communal areas, for the disposal of refuse by guests.

This condition will be included in all licences to ensure that the licence holder provides all necessary facilities for guests to adhere to disposal of refuse is in accordance with Stirling Council’s current policy and procedures on the storage and collection of general household refuse and recyclable refuse.

c) The licence holder shall ensure that the refuse facilities at the premises and in the communal surrounding areas of the premises are used appropriately at all times by the guests.

This condition will be included in all licences where the licensed premises is a flatted dwelling or where the premises is a house, the only external area for the storage of refuse out with collection days is on communal ground shared with other premises. This is to ensure that the disposal of refuse is in accordance with Stirling Council’s current policy and procedures on the storage and collection of general household refuse and recyclable refuse and ensures all residents with access to external communal areas for the storage of refuse is in accordance with the title deeds and/or the agreement of all co-owners.

2. Communal responsibilities of ownership

a) The licence holder shall act reasonably in relation to the payment of their share of all maintenance costs, insurance costs and repair costs of areas in common relative to the premises and in all dealings with any other owners and relevant factor.

This condition will be included in all licences where the licensed premises is a flatted dwelling. This is to ensure that the licence holder is honouring all legal obligations in respect of the common parts of the tenement.

b) The licence holder shall ensure that any undisputed invoice or notification of their share of maintenance costs, insurance costs and repair costs received in respect of common areas relative to the premises is paid in full in adherence to the payment terms stipulated.

This condition will be included in all licences where the licensed premises is a flatted dwelling. This is to ensure that the licence holder is honouring all legal obligations in respect of the common parts of the tenement.

c) The licence holder shall ensure that all common areas are regularly inspected and any defects brought to the attention of the other owners and any relevant factor, with the licence holder making payment of the appropriate share of any costs to rectify such defects.

This condition will be included in all licences where the licensed premises is a flatted dwelling. This is to ensure that the licence holder is honouring all legal obligations in respect of the common parts of the tenement and ensure the safety of all guests residing in the licensed premises.

3. Neighbour engagement

a) The licence holder must act reasonably in relation to the management of the licensed premises in respect of any dealings with the neighbouring residents of the premises.

This condition will be included in all licences to ensure that the licence holder is effectively managing their premises to minimise the impact noise, nuisance and/or anti-social behaviour on neighbouring residents.

b) The licence holder must take reasonable steps to investigate any complaint made by residents of the neighbouring properties relating to the behaviour of any guests at or in the vicinity of the licensed premises.

This condition will be included in all licences to ensure that the licence holder is effectively investigating and resolving any valid complaint from neighbours regarding the behaviour of the licence holders guests.

4. Access for guests

a) The licence holder must not affix a key box or other device to facilitate the entry of guests to the licensed premises, to any public or jointly owned private infrastructure without the prior written permission of the relevant authorities or owners. The licence holder must be able to produce the relevant permissions to Stirling Council on request.

This condition will be included in all licences to ensure that any key box or other device to facilitate entry to the licensed premises is located and affixed to property in the exclusive ownership of the licence holder or where affixed on any public or jointly owned private infrastructure, the licence holder has the necessary written consent of all the relevant authorities or owners.

b) The licence holder must take reasonable steps to ensure that guests do not first arrive or finally depart from the licensed premises between the hours of 11pm and 7am. The licence holder must advise guests of this as part of their booking conditions.

This condition will be included in all licences to ensure that disturbance to neighbouring residents is minimised. Reasonable steps allows for exceptions such as significantly delayed transport out with the control of the guests.

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