The Scottish Government has introduced a licensing regime for short-term lets in Scotland. Anyone looking to operate a short-term let for the first time from 1 October 2022 will need a licence before they do so. Those who are already operating short-term lets before 1 October 2022 must apply for a licence by 1 April 2023 if they wish to continue doing so. It will be an offence punishable by a fine of up to £5,000 for short-term lets granted without a licence.
Every local authority is tasked with setting up a licensing system by 1 October 2022. Existing short-term letting operators should consider the potential planning requirements as well as checking whether their property meets the required licensing standards. For those considering entering the short-term letting market, the additional cost of a licence and potentially planning permission should be taken into account. If buying a property, they should consider what information or evidence the seller might provide to allow short-term letting to continue or indeed begin.
Legislation pertaining to Short-Term Lets:
The Scottish Government has provided guidance:
Q What is a Short-Term Let?
A The providing of residential accommodation by a host to a guest in the course of business and for commercial consideration will be a short-term let for the purposes of the legislation where:
Three basic types of short-term letting will need a licence:
A licence for a mixture of home sharing and home letting is also possible. Certain premises are excluded and will not need a licence including purpose-built or converted student accommodation, hotels, licensed premises that provide accommodation and certain aparthotels with at least 5 serviced apartments in one building (there is a specific definition for these). The need for a licence will not apply to these premises and will also not apply when certain tenancies are granted including private residential and social housing tenancies.
The ASSC, in association with VisitScotland, has developed a full set of guidance. This will be the industry ‘go to guide’ going forwards. Find out more.