15 March 2023

Existing short-term lets hosts given until October 1st to submit licence applications

Aberdeenshire Council has now received confirmation from the Scottish Government that a six-month extension to the deadline for existing hosts to apply for a short-term let licence has been approved. 

Existing hosts must now apply for a licence before October 1st, 2023 - the previous deadline was April 1st - and they can continue operating whilst an application is being processed.

However the council is urging hosts to apply as soon as possible and don’t wait until the deadline before submitting their applications.

The legislation was brought in by the Scottish Government to ensure short-term lets are safe, to address issues faced by neighbours and to help councils understand what is happening in their area. It aims to balance economic and tourism benefits with the needs and concerns of local communities.

Find out more about the legislation, the Scottish Government guidance and to make an application here

Aberdeenshire Council developed its licensing scheme with feedback from local businesses and communities. Its aim is to ensure visitors enjoy a safe experience in holiday let accommodation which will encourage them to return to the region and to support the area’s businesses.

Under the scheme, existing hosts and operators that have already been providing short-term lets before October 1st 2022, must apply for a licence before October 1st.

New hosts and operators, who were not providing short-term lets before October 1st last year cannot operate a short-term let until they have a licence. Any new short-term let businesses and existing ones offering additional new accommodation must legally have a licence before operating or they could face a fine of up to £2,500.

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

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


In light of the economic challenges facing businesses, the council agreed a substantial reduction of fees in December last year. Fees depend on the type of licence application and guest capacity of the property:


Guest capacity (people)

Home sharing or letting

Secondary letting

1 to 2



3 to 4



5 to 9



10 to 15



16 or more




Applicants will need to provide a number of important documents with their application with fees paid otherwise we won’t be able to process them.

Documentation required includes:

  • Current Electrical Certificates of Compliance: Electrical Installation Condition Report
  • Current Portable Appliance Test (PAT) certificate for all appliances
  • Gas Safety Certificate – from a suitably accredited Gas Safe Registered installer
  • 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
  • Wholesome Private Water Supplies – evidence of satisfactory results within the last 12 months