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Short-term lets

Has your short-term let been in operation before 1 October 2022 and you have applied for a short-term let licence before 1 October 2023?

In ordinary circumstances, if you have been operating the short-term let accommodation for guests paying and staying before 1 October 2022, and you apply and pay for a short-term let licence before 1 October 2023 (ie by the end of day on 30 September 2023) you may continue to accept bookings and welcome guests to that short-term let accommodation from 1 October 2023 and beyond for the duration that your licence application is being processed.

You do not need to have had your licence granted by 1 October 2023 to continue your operation - you merely must have applied for your short-term let licence before that date. Again, this applies only in respect of short-term let accommodation that was fully operational before 1 October 2022.

If as an existing host you fail to apply for a licence by the deadline of 30 September 2023 at 11.59pm, you will be unable to welcome guests for any new or pre-existing bookings for dates from 1 October 2023 onwards, until a licence is granted. In other words, if you apply for a licence on or after 1 October 2023, your application will be deemed to be for a new operation, regardless of when or for how long you may have been in operation before that date. As such, while you will be allowed to continue to advertise your short-term let, you will not be permitted to take bookings or welcome guests until the licence is granted.

Has your short-term let been in operation before 1 October 2022 and have you failed to apply for a short-term let licence by 11.59pm on 30 September 2023?

Regardless of whether you have been operating the short-term let accommodation for guests paying and staying before 1 October 2022, if you have failed to apply and pay for a short-term let licence by the end of day on 30 September 2023, you must stop accepting bookings and welcoming guests to your short-term let accommodation from 1 October 2023 and beyond until you apply for and are granted a short-term let licence.

To be clear: in these circumstances, you may not welcome guests for any new or pre-existing bookings for date from 1 October 2023 onwards, until a licence is granted.

If you apply for a licence on or after 1 October 2023, your application will be deemed to be for a new operation, regardless of when or for how long you may have been in operation before that date. As such, while you will be allowed to continue to advertise your short-term let, but you will not be permitted to take bookings or welcome guests until the licence is granted.

Preparing your application

When is planning permission needed for a short-term let?

Obtaining planning permission or a certificate of lawfulness can take some time. We would encourage you to apply at least one month in advance of your licence application. Further information is available on our Do I need planning permission for a short-term let? webpage.  

The granting of any licence application does not supersede the requirement for planning permission if it is required. If you do not have the relevant planning permission(s) in place, regardless of whether you have the correct licence or not, Perth and Kinross Council as Planning Authority have the right to open an enforcement investigation.

Please review the Scottish Government's Short-term lets: planning guidance for hosts and operators guidance.

Before you begin your application

Before you begin your application, read through the following documents:

 

Fees

 

 

Applying for a licence

Licence type

Please ensure that you select the correct licence type for your short-term let accommodation as you cannot legally operate your short-term let using an incorrect licence type.

Property address

Please note: It is important that the property address that you seek a licence for is exactly the same address that appears on all of the appropriate supporting documents and certificates.

Please ensure to read the pre-application checklist prior to making an application for a short-term let licence as failure to provide the correct and up-to-date documentation for your short-term let accommodation at the time of application will result in your application taking considerably longer to process. Your application will not be validated until all necessary documentation has been submitted. Examples of incorrect information being received at the time of application:

  • Out-of-date safety documentation
  • Safety documentation being submitted showing the address of the applicant instead of the actual short-term let accommodation
  • Incorrect licence type being applied for
  • Omitting full name, dates, and place of birth (putting UK for place of birth will not be accepted)
  • Misspelling or putting incorrect address of short term let accommodation

Apply for a short-term let licence

 

Background to the short-term licensing scheme

The Scottish Government introduced a new mandatory licensing scheme for short-term lets in Scotland which opened for applications for new hosts on 1 October 2022. The Scottish Government has since announced that it has extended the deadline by which existing short-term let hosts must apply for a short-term let licence by 6 months to 1 October 2023.

If you are an existing host or operator (operating before 1 October 2022) you can continue to accept bookings and receive guests while your application is being determined and have until 1 October 2023 to apply for a licence. It is a criminal offence to operate a short-term let without a licence, and you could be fined up to £2,500. 

There are four types of licence for short-term let accommodation:

  • 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 all or part of your own home for short-term lets, whilst you are there
  • 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

Please visit the Short-term lets (campaign.gov.scot) site for more information and to check if you need a licence.

Court Ruling June 2023

A court ruling declared that parts of the proposed short-term lets licensing scheme in Edinburgh were unlawful.

The court case was concerned with specific elements of the short-term lets licensing scheme in Edinburgh, including a rebuttable presumption against granting licenses for secondary lets within tenement blocks, which the Court held to be unlawful. The elements of the Edinburgh scheme which the Court found to be unlawful form no part of the short-term lets licensing scheme in Perth and Kinross which is therefore unaffected by the Court's ruling. 

Public Register

The  register of applications (opens new window) shows a summary of current licences and applications.  

Complaints, objections and appeals

Complaints

Please note this only relates to complaints where a short-term let is licensed. Unlicensed short-term let complaints should be directed to Police Scotland.

From guests

In the first instance, the Council would expect any concerns from guests to be raised with the host or operator and where this cannot be resolved they should contact the Council by emailing STL@pkc.gov.uk  The email should state the licensed short-term let address and the concerns around the operation of the licence.

From neighbours

In the first instance, the Council would expect concerns from neighbours to be raised with the host or operator and where this cannot be resolved they should contact the Licensing Department by emailing STL@pkc.gov.uk. The email should state the licensed short-term let address and the concerns around the operation of the licence.

Objections and representations to a short-term let licence application

Objections or a representation to an application must be received in writing within 28 days of a Public Notice of Information being displayed by the applicant outside a property. The final date for receipt of objections/representations will be displayed on the notice. Email objections can be sent to STL@pkc.gov.uk stating the reason for objection/representation or alternatively mailed to Licensing, Legal and Governance, Perth and Kinross Council, Pullar House, 35 Kinnoull Street, Perth, PH1 5GD.

Perth and Kinross Council will not consider any anonymous objections or representations. 

All representations or objections must:

  • be made in writing
  • specify the ground(s) of the objection or nature of the representation
  • specify the name and address of the person making it
  • be signed by the objector, or on their behalf (for emails the inclusion of your name and address will count as a signature)

The Council must send a copy of any objection or representation to the applicant, which will include the name and address of the person making the objection or representation (email, telephone number and signature will be redacted). 

Where there are objections or representations, the applications will be considered by the Licensing Committee who will determine the application.

The Licensing Committee has discretion to consider late objections or representations if satisfied that there is sufficient reason why the objection or representation was not received in time. If this applies you will need to explain in your objection or representation, why it is late. A copy of your objection or representation will not be considered unless the Licensing Committee makes a decision that it will consider it.

If you have made an objection or representation to an application, you will be invited to attend the Licensing Committee hearing. You can decide whether to attend the meeting in person or remotely by telephone to address the committee regarding your objection or representation and to answer any questions from the Licensing Committee members regarding it. If you do not want to attend, the Licensing Committee will consider your written objection and make a decision in your absence.

Licensing staff will notify any objectors and those that have made a representation with the decision of the Licensing Committee within 7 days of the committee meeting hearing.  

It might be helpful to consider these possible grounds of refusal when making any objection or representation.

More information about what we do with your personal data when you make an objection/representation is on our privacy notice at the Detailed Privacy Notices .

Possible grounds for objections or representations

The 1982 Act states that a licensing authority shall refuse an application to grant or renew a licence, if in their opinion -

(a) the applicant or, where the applicant is not a natural person, any director of it or partner in it or any other person responsible for its management, is either:

(i) for the time being disqualified under section 7(6) of the 1982 Act, or

(ii) not a fit and proper person to be the holder of the licence;

(b) the activity to which it relates would be managed by or carried on for the benefit of a person, other than the applicant, who would be refused the grant or renewal of such a licence if s/he made the application him/herself;

(c) where the licence applied for relates to an activity consisting of or including the use of premises, those premises are not suitable or convenient for the conduct of the activity having regard to:

(i) the location, character or condition of the premises;

(ii) the nature and extent of the proposed activity;

(iii) the kind of persons likely to be in the premises;

(iv) the possibility of undue public nuisance; or

(v) public order or public safety; or

(ca) the applicant would not be able to secure compliance with:

(i) the mandatory licence conditions, and

(ii) the standard conditions and any further conditions to which the licence is to be subject,

(c) the application does not contain the consent of the owners of the premises, or

(d) there is other good reason for refusing the application (this needs to be a licensing reason)

Appeal process

Anyone to whom a Licensing Authority is obliged to give notice of a licensing decision (both objectors and applicants) can appeal to the Sheriff against that decision by summary application. The Sheriff could uphold an appeal only if the authority erred in law, based their decision on an incorrect material fact, acted contrary to natural justice, or otherwise exercised their decision in an unreasonable manner. If you are in a position where you are considering an appeal to the Sheriff, you should consult a Solicitor or Citizens Advice Bureau for further information.

If you want to appeal against a short-term let licence decision, you must do this within 28 days of the date of the decision. If you wait longer than 28 days, your appeal might be not considered.

You also are entitled to request, within 21 days from the date of the decision, written reasons for the Licensing Authority's decision.

 

Privacy notice - How we use your personal information

The information provided by you will be used by Perth and Kinross Council to process your application and thereafter to keep you informed of any updates with regard to your application or licence.

The Council may also check information provided by you, or information about you provided by a third party, with other information held by us. We may also get information from certain third parties or share your information with them in order to verify its accuracy, prevent or detect crime, protect public funds or where required by law. Further information on how your information is used can be found on our Detailed Privacy Notices  page.

Last modified on 12 April 2024

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