Short-term let licence

From 1st October 2022, the Scottish Government introduced new legislation covering the letting of accommodation and the new requirements for that accommodation to be licensed by the local authority. If you offer any accommodation as a short-term let in Scotland you can't trade without a licence.  

A short-term let licence is specific to the owner and is not transferrable. The licence will normally be valid for 3 years, after which time you will need to re-apply to renew your licence.

Please read the short-term lets guidance notes (PDF 333KB) for further details.

Make sure you can continue to operate

From 1st October 2023, any host wishing to operate a short-term let who hasn’t already submitted an application, can't accept any guests or bookings until they have been granted a licence to do so.

Types of accommodation needing a licence

Hosts must have a licence per each separately bookable self-contained accommodation unit with its own kitchen, bathroom and access door. For further details please view:

Multi-unit licences can be issued for unconventional secondary lets, for example a group of yurts or lodges if they are within the same parcel of land.

View what types of accommodation need a licence

Types of licence

There are 4 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

Check what type of licence you need


The law says short-term lets must meet certain conditions to get a licence:

You must be a fit and proper person to hold a short-term let licence. We will carry out a consultation for every licence application with Police Scotland, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) and various council services.


Fees depend on the type of licence application/category and the maximum guest capacity of the property or unit/units. The current fees are applicable until 31st March 2024. From 1st April 2024 there will be an increase.

You can pay by either:

  • applying online (you will be asked to make a payment at the end of the form)
  • making a telephone payment on 01467 539039
  • visiting one of our service points

Unfortunately we are unable to accept payments by cheque or cash.

Guest capacity (people) Home sharing or letting Secondary letting
1 to 2 £353.26 £467.55
3 to 4 £467.55 £623.40
5 to 9 £592.23 £789.64
10 to 15 £706.52 £883.15
16 or more £883.15 £976.66

Other types of application:

  • Variation of licence or change in circumstances - £103.90
  • Duplicate or additional copy of licence - £51.95
  • Temporary consent - no fee


Guest capacity (people) Home sharing or letting Secondary letting
1 to 2 £322.09 £420.80
3 to 4 £420.80 £561.06
5 to 9 £529.89 £716.91
10 to 15 £633.79 £800.03
16 or more £800.03 £893.54

How to apply

Firstly, please read the short-term lets guidance notes (PDF 336KB) as they provide information on the requirements to display a public notice and, after 21 days, how to complete the compliance certificate. Templates for both documents are available on this page and apply to online and paper applications.  

For an application to be valid, you must submit all supporting documents and pay the correct fee. We will not process invalid applications.

Whether an online submission or paper application form, you will need to provide the following documents with your application:

  • Current Electrical Certificates of Compliance: Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) – must be within 5 years of application date
  • Current Portable Appliance Test (PAT) certificate - required for all appliances available to your guests, must be within 12 months of the application date
  • Gas Safety Certificate – from a suitably accredited Gas Safe Registered installer, must be within 12 months of the application date
  • EPC Certificate (secondary lets only)
  • Evidence of your existing Buildings insurance for the property and Public Liability or Property Owners Liability to a minimum cover of £2m
  • Location and site plan for rural properties with multiple units (unconventional lets only)
  • SFRS fire safety checklist - template available in two formats fire safety checklist (PDF 90KB)fire safety checklist (DOCX 47KB)
  • Private Water Supplies - for premises with a wholesome private water supply (not mains water) evidence of satisfactory results within the last 12 months are required, sampling by the council is recommended, however, results from a third party may be accepted (where appropriate); the results must include details of the treatment/filtration installed and maintenance undertaken

In addition to the list of documents above which form part of the application, you are required to carry out a Fire Risk Assessment and Legionella Risk Assessment. Details of both are within the short-term lets guidance notes (PDF 336KB).

Please don't submit Fire Risk Assessment and Legionella Risk Assessment with your application, but make sure that they are kept on the premises within a folder containing copies of all electric, gas, insurance certificates.

View the short-term let licence privacy notice (PDF 162KB).

Apply online

You will have to sign in with myAberdeenshire to access the form. You will be able save it and resume later at any stage before submitting it. To access your saved applications login to myAberdeenshire and go to your submissions.

When applying online, you will be asked to upload required documents and make a payment as part of the form.

Apply for a short-term let licence

Apply in paper

Alternatively, you can apply by completing a paper form available in two formats:

Please make sure you include all required supporting documents with the paper form and send it to

Display of public notice

You are required to display a public notice for 21 days from the date a valid application form and relevant fee is submitted. The notice must be displayed at or near the accommodation from which activities are to be operated so it can be conveniently read by the public. Please use this this template:

If you are unable to display the notice because you do not have rights of access or other rights that would enable you to do so, you will be asked to provide details of the reasonable efforts made, without success, to acquire these rights.

Certificate of compliance

After 21 days, you must produce Certificate of Compliance and send it along with a copy of the public notice to Please use this template:

How we process your application

The council has 12 months to process and determine applications.

Valid applications will be processed then forwarded to several consultees for comment. This will include a fit and proper person check. The consultees will provide a response to the council within 28 days.

We will forward the completed fire safety checklist to SFRS so they can determine if they need to carry out a separate audit of the accommodation. If an audit is carried out, SFRS will advise the council of the outcome and any necessary additional fire safety requirements which will need to be implemented before a licence is granted.

When an application is received for a home share, home let or secondary let licence, the accommodation may be inspected. All unconventional secondary lets will be inspected. The council will inspect the accommodation to make sure it complies or can be made to comply with the standards issued by the Scottish Government.

In accordance with the legislation, details of the application and subsequent decisions will be made available in a public register.

Change of ownership

The licence is not transferrable. If there is a change of ownership after a licence has been granted, the new owner will need to submit a new application and pay the fee.


Changes in circumstances (variations of licence), such as a change in the person with day-to-day responsibility, require to be approved by the council. Please email if you would like to vary a licence and we will advise.

Temporary consent

The council will provide temporary consent when a new host would like to buy an existing licenced short-term let.

Temporary consent lasts 6 weeks. This is to allow the host to continue to operate whilst they submit a new licence application. Please email if you require temporary consent and we will advise. 

Planning permission, change of use or a certificate of lawfulness

In certain circumstances (secondary letting or unconventional premises) planning permission may be required for the conversion to an STL or the siting of such unconventional units. In relation to home share premises, planning permission for change of use may be required, depending on the number of rooms being used and the operational period. If you are unsure if planning permission would be required, please check if with our Planning team if you need permission, and if required, submit a planning application prior to applying for a short-term let licence. On receipt of this application, Environmental Health team will consult with the Planning team who will take appropriate action directly with the host.  

Public register

We are required by law to publish a register of all short-term let licence applications received by the council.


If you have any queries please email Please include the address of the premises in your email, so your query can be passed to the correct officer.