Short-term let licence

On 19th January 2022 the Scottish Parliament approved new legislation covering the licensing of short-term let properties. These licensing powers fall under the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 (Licensing of Short-term Lets) Order 2022 and came into force on 1st March 2022.

The licensing scheme was brought in by the Scottish Government with the aim to ensure short-term lets are safe, to address issues faced by neighbours regarding anti-social behaviour, to help local authorities in knowing and understanding what is happening in their area and handling complaints effectively. It also enables local authorities to ensure the people providing short-term lets are suitable.

The legislation aims to make sure that the economic and tourism benefits from short-term lets are balanced with the needs and concerns of local communities.

We are now preparing for the administration of the new scheme, developing the required policies and licensing conditions and the setting of application fees. This page will continue to be updated as we prepare the policies and licensing conditions. 

What is a short-term let

The short-term let licensing scheme will cover a wide range of residential and commercial accommodation including:

  • self-catering properties
  • bed and breakfasts
  • guest houses
  • glamping pods
  • certain mobile homes
  • cabins
  • yurts

Accommodation provided in the home of the host will also be included.

There are four 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 licensing scheme includes new mandatory safety requirements that will cover every type of short-term let. These are set out in the legislation as mandatory conditions of a licence. In addition, local conditions will also be applied that are relevant to our area.

It will also include a "fit and proper" test to assess whether an applicant is suitable to be the holder of a licence. We will carry out a consultation for every licence application with Police Scotland, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and various council services including the Planning and Development and Building Standards Services.

Timescales for Licensing

Existing hosts and operators

If you are an existing host or operator, and have already been using your property to provide short-term lets prior to 1st October 2022, you have until 1st April 2023 to apply for a licence.

New hosts and operators

If you were not using your premises to provide short-term lets prior to 1st October 2022, you cannot take bookings or receive guests until you have a licence.

All hosts and operators need to have a licence at the very latest by 1st July 2024.

Fees

Fees will be deferred until they have been agreed.

How to apply

If you are an existing short-term let host please don't apply yet as we will not accept your application. We are working on the application process for existing hosts and we will update this page with these details in due course.

If you are a new host, you can apply by completing the application form available in two formats:

Please view the application guidance notes (PDF 362KB) to help you in completing your application.

To support your application please complete the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) fire safety checklist, available in two formats:

Completed forms should be emailed to stl@aberdeenshire.gov.uk.

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

Please note this is a new application process and is subject to change.

What happens after

Once submitted, we will hold your application pending whilst we implement the final licensing scheme, confirm fees and associated licence conditions.

Planning permission or a certificate of lawfulness

We are not currently proposing to introduce planning control zones. Planning permission, change of use and certificate of lawful use will not be required for existing short-term lets in Aberdeenshire.

Contact

If you have any queries in relation to the Short-Term Let licensing scheme please email stl@aberdeenshire.gov.uk.