Short-term let licence

From 1st October 2022, if you use accommodation to offer short-term lets in Scotland you need to apply for a licence.

A short-term let licence is specific to the owner and is not transferrable. The licence will 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 322KB) for further details.

When you need a licence by

If you were operating a short-term let prior to 1st October 2022, you are an existing host or operator and you must apply for a licence before 1st October 2023.

If you were not operating a short-term let prior to 1st October 2022 you are classed as a new host and cannot operate until you get a licence.

All short-term let properties need to be licenced by 1st July 2024.

Accommodation needing a licence

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

Conditions

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

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

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 £340 £450
3 to 4 £450 £600
5 to 9 £570 £760
10 to 15 £680 £850
16 or more £850 £940

Other types of application:

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

Renewals

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 £770 £860

How to apply

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 insurance arrangements for the property, example current cover, and Public Liability or Property Owners Liability insurance to a minimum cover of £2m per dwelling
  • Location and site plan for rural properties with multiple units
  • SFRS fire safety checklist - template available in two formats fire safety checklist (PDF 90KB)fire safety checklist (DOCX 47KB)
  • Wholesome Private Water Supplies  evidence of satisfactory results within the last 12 months and sampling by Aberdeenshire Council is recommended, however, results from a third party may be accepted (where appropriate); the application must include details of the treatment/filtration installed and maintenance undertaken

All applications must include supporting documents with fees paid otherwise we won’t be able to process them.

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

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 your application.

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 stl@aberdeenshire.gov.uk.

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 stl@aberdeenshire.gov.uk. 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.

Variations

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 stl@aberdeenshire.gov.uk 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 stl@aberdeenshire.gov.uk if you require temporary consent and we will advise. 

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.

Public register

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

Contact

If you have any queries please email stl@aberdeenshire.gov.uk.