Obtaining a tourist licence - Scotland

Modified on Wed, 10 Jan 2024 at 05:23 PM

The Scottish Government has implemented new regulations requiring all hosts to obtain a license for their short-term rentals. This change, which took effect on 1st October 2022, applies to both new and existing hosts.

If you're a new host looking to start a short-term rental in Scotland, we've compiled a comprehensive guide that covers everything you need to know about applying for a local license for your property.  

What are the new rules?

As part of the new regulations, it is now mandatory for all short-term let accommodations to hold a license. If you're a new host eager to welcome guests, don't forget to apply for a short-term let license from your local council before accepting bookings. For experienced hosts who were already providing short-term lets prior to 1st October 2022, mark your calendars as you have until 1st October 2023, to secure your license.

What are the deadlines? 

Depending on when you started offering your space as a short-term let, there are two different deadlines to keep in mind:

New Hosts: If you began sharing your property as a short-term let after 1st October 2022, it's essential to obtain a license before accepting any new bookings. Contact your local authority for specific steps to apply for the right license.

Existing Hosts: For hosts who offered their short-term let before 1st October 2022, applying for a license by 30th September 2023, is necessary if they wish to continue hosting. Don't miss this deadline if you want to keep your listings live on travel websites. 

How can I apply? 

To apply for a license, reach out to your local authority. If you own a second home, confirm with your local council if you require planning permission or a certificate of lawfulness to operate. Check your local authority's licensing page for mandatory requirements and initial steps to comply.

Are there exemptions? 

The Scottish Government has provided a list of exceptions to the rules, which include aparthotels, holiday caravans, or glamping pods located within a park holding a caravan site license, as well as hotels.

What do I need to apply for a license? 

In order to apply for a license, you will need to gather a few important documents. Please note that this list is not comprehensive, as some local authorities may require additional information so be sure to check.

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