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Holiday Let Licence Guide for England, Scotland & Wales

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Whilst the rise in short-term holiday lets had brought many benefits to the tourism sector and economy, it has also prompted a range of concerns.

Consequently, the Government aims to address the impact that short-term lets can have on the housing market, local communities and anti-social behaviour from guests. There are also concerns that some hosts and holiday let landlords are not abiding by health and safety legislation that’s designed to keep consumers safe.

This guide aims to outline the short-term holiday let licencing schemes for England, Scotland and Wales that have, or are due to be introduced.

England short-term holiday let licence

The Government is considering introducing a short-term let registration scheme in England in the near future so it can better understand and monitor the impact of short-term lets on local communities.

The registration scheme will enable checks for compliance with health and safety rules and help the council identify “problematic” holiday lets where noise problems, drunken behaviour and disorderly conduct take place.

Further information:

Scotland short-term holiday let licensing scheme introduced

The Scottish Government has introduced a licensing scheme for short-term let accommodation across Scotland, this includes holiday cottages.

  • Those who want to set up a short-term let for the first time are required to apply for a licence before they take any bookings or accept any guests. This applies to new businesses that were not operating before 1 October 2022.
  • Hosts operating a short-term let before 1 October 2022 must apply for a licence before 1 October 2023.
  • If you have more than one property (at a different address) you need a licence for each property.

Anyone providing short-term let (STL) accommodation must now have a licence or face a ban and fine of up to £2,500.

For more information on what you need to do, check the website of your local authority, which should contain the relevant details of the process in your area.

Further information:
Hosts can use this tool to check whether they need a licence, and which type of licence they require. https://www.mygov.scot/short-term-lets-checker

Edinburgh short-term lets plan ruled unlawful

A plan to regulate Airbnb-style lets in Edinburgh has been ruled unlawful by a judge less than four months before it was due to come into force. Operators and landlords opposed to the scheme took the city council to court in May.

Holiday let licensing scheme announced by Welsh government

Plans to introduce a statutory registration and licensing scheme for all visitor accommodation in Wales before the end of the year have been announced.

The first phase will be a statutory registration scheme for all accommodation providers, which will – for the first time – provide a register on the broad range of visitor accommodation available across the country and will include details on who is operating in the sector, where they are operating, and how they are operating.

Once a registration scheme is fully established, the intention is to follow with a licensing scheme for all visitor accommodation. This will initially focus on confirming compliance with safety requirements visitor accommodation providers should already be meeting, before looking at introducing quality standards at a later stage.


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