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Short-term Lets

The Scottish Government has introduced legislation that requires councils to operate a licensing regime for short-term lets in their council areas.

You can find out more about the legislation and read the Scottish Government guidance for hosts and operators at Short-term let licences - (opens new window)

Information on the Scheme

Existing providers of Short Term Lets have until 1 October 2023 to apply for a licence and can continue to trade while any application is being processed. We must determine those applications within 12 months.

Operators of new short term lets that intend to begin trading on or after 1 October 2022 must be licenced before they can begin trading. Those applications must be determined within 9 months.

As new host and operators must be licensed before accepting bookings, these applications will be prioritised. The council also recommends that new hosts and operators apply for a temporary licence as they last for a maximum period of 6 weeks, a full licence application should be submitted at the same time or during the 6-week period. The temporary licence will remain in place until a determination has been made on the full licence application.

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

You can use the Scottish Government site to check if you will require a licence and which licence you will need to apply for. 

Check which licence you need (opens new window)

Do not use the Landlord Registration process for short term let related licence applications as Landlord Registration is a separate scheme.

Apply for a licence

You can now apply for a licence online. Once you have applied, your application will be checked to ensure it is complete and contact will then be made to process payment. Until payment has been received your application cannot be progressed. 

Apply for a Short-term Let Licence (opens new window)

Following completion of the application, you will be required to provide a range of evidence to the mailbox. Please check below for further information on the required documentation. 


Public Register

You can view a list of all applications on the Short-term Lets Register here. [150KB]


Objecting to a Short Term Let Application or making a Representation

If you wish to object to an application, or make a representation, you can download the STL Public Objection or Representation form [114KB]  and submit this via email to (opens new window). Or by post to:

The Short Term Lets Team, Housing, Customer and Building Services, Civic Centre, Howden South Road, Livingston, EH54 6FF

Submission by email are preferred and are processed faster.


Reporting an unlicensed Property

Operating without a short-term let licence is a criminal offence. Hosts could get a fine of £2,500 and be banned from applying for a licence for a year. Hosts would not able to offer lets during this period.

If you believe you are aware of a property being used for Short Term lets without a licence please email the Short Term Lets team at (opens new window). The team will investigate reports received.

In order to assist with any investigation if you have further information like the owners name or contact information then please forward this and any other relevant information to this mailbox as this may assist us in any investigation.

Following investigation if the owner does in fact not hold a licence and applies for one then your objection will be included in that application. Applications received with objections will be reviewed by the Licensing committee along with any other objections during the public notice period. Applications received with objections may not be authorised under delegated powers to the Head of Housing.

Please do not contact or confront owners or guests at this property and place yourself at risk of breaching the law and allow the council to handle this matter.

If you have any further questions please get in touch. There may be limits in what information we can share in order to remain compliant with General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR).