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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 -

What the Council is doing

We are in the process of finalising our licensing scheme. We will shortly promote details of the scheme and provide full information of what is needed to apply for a licence once it is approved by the council. Look out here and on our social media channels for more information.

Register your Interest

You can register your interest for the scheme and we will contact you with updates as the implementation of the scheme progresses. 

Register Your Interest

Policy Consultation

As part of the implementation of the short-term lets licensing scheme, the council must publish a policy for short-term let licensing in the West Lothian Council area.  The council's draft policy sets out its proposed approach to the implementation of the scheme.

The consultation opened at 12 noon on Monday 31st October and closed on Friday 18th November. Analysis of the consultation will be posted on this page in the coming weeks. 

You read through the  Draft Short-term Lets Policy [219KB] .  

Applications and Enquiries

The Scottish Government has prepared an application form that we will adapt for local use. That application form covers all of the information required by the legislation and guidance. Our scheme may add to that list. Reading the Scottish Government's version and its guidance will provide a clear picture of what will be needed and a copy of that can be found in the downloads section of this page.

Existing providers of Short Term Lets have until 1st April 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 1st October 2022 must be licenced before they can begin trading. Those applications must be determined within 9 months.

If you wish to submit an application form please Register Your Interest and an application form will be issued to you as soon as the council's version is finalised. Information can also be provided on the process the council will follow in processing applications.

If you have further queries, you can email 

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


To make it possible for councils to deliver this licensing service, national legislation allows for councils to set fees that reflect the cost of delivering the service in their area. Fees for West Lothian will be determined shortly and will be published once they have been set.

Steps to take now

Familiarise yourself with the Guidance

Familiarise yourself with the Scottish Government's Part 1 Guidance for hosts and operators.  Short term lets - licensing scheme part 1: guidance for hosts and operators - (  Go through the checklist produced by the Scottish Fire & Rescue Service which you can find in the downloads section of this page. Together, those explain the lets that are covered by the legislation and the types of licences, and offers advice for anyone considering letting their property or applying for a licence.

Check which Licence you need to apply for

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

Check if you need Planning Permission

You can find further information on planning permission requirements on our planning webpages.