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 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 332KB) for further details.
Deadline for submitting applications
Make sure you can continue to operate
The deadline for existing hosts to apply and continue to trade whilst their application is being determined was 1st October 2023. Any hosts who were operating prior to 1st October 2022 and didn't submit an application before the deadline, have lost the existing host status and will be considered to be a new host.
Existing hosts, who operated a short-term let before 1st October 2022 and have submitted an application before 1st October 2023, can still accept bookings and guests whilst their application is being determined.
Hosts who started operations after 1st October 2022 are considered new hosts and can't begin trading until they receive their short-term let licence.
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:
- Guidance for hosts and operators (paragraphs 1.15 and 1.16)
- Glossary of terms (definition of dwellinghouse)
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.
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
The law says short-term lets must meet certain conditions to get a licence:
- Licensing conditions and management standards (PDF 361KB) - these form part of the licence
- Scottish Government legal requirements
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 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
|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 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
All applications must include supporting documents with fees paid otherwise we won’t be able to process them.
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 our guidance notes document. Please don't submit these documents, but make sure that they are kept on the premises within a folder containing copies of all electric, gas, insurance certificates.
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 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 email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 email@example.com if you would like to vary a licence and we will advise.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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 email@example.com. Please include the address of the premises in your email, so your query can be passed to the correct officer.
- Guidance for hosts and operators
- Guidance for licensing authorities, letting agencies and platforms
- Planning guidance for hosts and operators
- Fire safety: guidance for the hospitality industry
- Fire safety - existing premises with sleeping accommodation: practical guidance
- Non-domestic fire safety
- Short-term let policy (PDF 531KB)