Application Guidance

The following guidance will help you with your application, comply with the licence conditions and supply the required documentation for your-short-term let.  Although you can submit an application it will not be considered competent until all of the required information is included.

Agents

Only those named on a licence whether as an applicant or as a day to day manager/agent can be involved in the day to day management of the premises.  You do not have to name online platforms, cleaners/gardeners or those that help out occasionally.

Type of Licence

The holder of the licence may only offer the type of short-term let for which the licence has been granted.
There are 4 different types of licence:

  • "home sharing" means using all or part of your own home for short-term lets whilst you are there;
  • "home letting" means using all or part of your own home for short-term lets whilst you are absent, for example whilst you are on holiday;
  • "secondary letting" means the letting of property where you do not normally live, for example a second home; and
  • "home letting and home sharing" means you operate short-term lets from your own home while you are living there and also for periods when you are absent.

Fire Safety

The premises must have satisfactory equipment installed for detecting, and for giving warning of -

  • fire or suspected fire, and
  • the presence of carbon monoxide in a concentration that is hazardous to health.

Houses and flats should comply with  the fire and smoke tolerable standard guidance (Opens in a new window or downloads a file). Other types of premises should also aim to follow this guidance unless there is specific sector guidance detailing a higher provision.

You must submit a fire safety checklist as part of your application but you do not need to submit your fire safety risk assessment. See our additional Fire Safety page.

Furniture and Furnishings

The holder of the licence must keep records showing that all upholstered furnishings and mattresses within the parts of the premises which are for guest use, or to which the guests are otherwise permitted to have access, comply with the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire Safety) Regulations 1988 (Opens in a new window or downloads a file).

Furniture that complies with the regulation should display a permanent label – this label should be displayed on both new and second hand furniture. Operators should only purchase furniture and furnishings that carry a permanent label and/or ensure that the furniture complies with BS7177. If a operator is unsure, they can contact us for advice.

Should a label become detached from the furniture it is recommended that operators retains it in a safe place, to ensure that they can prove the furniture complies with the regulation. Operators should also retain receipts proving purchase of the furniture or furnishings. All new furniture bought from reputable suppliers should comply, but always check. If purchasing second hand furniture, be careful to ensure the furniture carries the correct labels.

You do not need to submit records as part of your application, but we may ask to see your records as part of any follow up checks.

Gas safety

Where the premises has a gas supply -

  • the holder of the licence must arrange for an annual gas safety inspection of all gas pipes, flues and appliances in the premises,
  • if, after an annual inspection, any appliance does not meet the required safety standard, the holder of the licence must not allow a short-term let of the premises until the works necessary to bring the appliance to the required safety standard have been carried out.

Additionally under health and safety legislation, if a rented property has any gas appliances in it (such as a gas central heating boiler, a gas fire, or a gas cooker, LPG heater) then by law you must have it inspected by a Gas Safe registered tradesman every twelve months.  There are serious penalties for not doing so.  Further information is available from the HSE Website

If you use gas for your short-term let then you must submit GasSafe records as part of your application, covering all appliances (including LPG appliances like gas barbeques or heaters).

Solid fuel and oil boilers

Where premises have any solid or liquid fuel fires or boilers they must

  • ensure that they are in ,
    a reasonable state of repair, and
    proper and safe working order,
  • arrange for a competent person to -
    carry out an annual inspection (and service if necessary)
    clean any chimney/flue used for solid fuel appliances annually

In determining who is competent, the holder of the licence may have regard to any professional membership or satisfy themselves that the person carrying out the activity has sufficient knowledge and experience.

You do not need to submit records as part of your application, but we may ask for more information as part of any follow up checks.

Electrical Safety

Where there are electrical fittings or items within the parts of the premises which are for guest use, or to which the guests are permitted to have access, the holder of the licence must - 

  • ensure that any electrical fittings and items are in -
    • a reasonable state of repair, and
    • proper and safe working order,
  • arrange for an electrical safety inspection to be carried out by a competent person at least every five years or more frequently if directed by the competent person,
  • ensure that, following an electrical safety inspection, the competent person produces an Electrical Installation Condition Report on any fixed installations,
  • arrange for a competent person to - 
    • produce a Portable Appliance Testing Report on moveable appliances to which a guest has access, and
    • date label and sign all moveable appliances which have been inspected.

In determining who is competent, the holder of the licence must have regard to Annex A of the guidance issued by the Scottish Ministers under section 19B(4) of the Housing (Scotland) Act 2006(2).

In Scotland, this will usually mean that An EICR, or for new installations a Current Electrical Installation Certificate (CEIC) should be carried out with someone registered with NICEIC , a member firm of the Electrical Contractors' Association of Scotland  or a member of the National Association of Professional Inspectors and Testers (NAPIT). We recognise that there are competent persons who may not be registered with these organisations and the difficulty in obtaining tradespersons in parts of the Outer Hebrides so will allow EICR/CEICs completed by non-registered persons where we have agreed their competencies with our Building Standards Service.

If your short-term let has an electricity supply then you must submit a satisfactory  EICR/CEIC carried out in the previous 5 years, as part of your application. 

A PAT test must be completed by a competent person (as per  above, or a person (including the host) who has completed appropriate training as a PAT tester as per Annex C of the Guidance.  The competent person doing the PAT testing will normally recommend when items are re-tested and  usually more frequently than every five years, even though we will only be asking for records showing that items have been done at least every 5 years.

Water Safety

Where the premises are served by a private water supply (not Scottish Water), the licence holder must comply with the requirements on the owners of private dwellings set out in the Water Intended for Human Consumption (Private Supplies) (Scotland) Regulations 2017. Hosts are legally required under  Regulation 24 to display the DWQR prescribed notice (») (Opens in a new window or downloads a file) in a prominent location along with up-to-date information on the quality of the water (i.e. the last sample results).  Ideally this information should be displayed alongside the other information to be displayed (Opens in a new window or downloads a file).

Please see our Private landlord page on water supplies (Opens in a new window or downloads a file) for more information.

Legionella

The holder of the licence must assess the risk from exposure to legionella within the premises, whether or not the premises are served by a private water supply.

Under Health safety legislation landlords, including hosts, have a legal duty to ensure that the risk of exposure of tenants to legionella is properly assessed and controlled.  The HSE have guidance on Legionella and Landlords’ Responsibilities  

Landlords can carry out a risk assessment themselves if they are competent or employ somebody who is.

A simple risk assessment may show that there are no real risks from legionella, but if there are, implementing appropriate measures will prevent or control these risks.  If the assessment shows the risks are insignificant and are being properly managed to comply with the law, no further action may be required, but it is important to review the assessment periodically in case anything changes in the system. 

Legionella Risk assessment Template for simple properties is available on our document and forms webpage.

If you provide any hot tubs or spas, then there is specific HSE guidance which you should follow and your risk assessment should cover these items.

The Repairing Standard - gov.scot

You do not need to submit your risk assessment as part of your application, but we may ask for it in the future or as part of any follow up checks.

Safety and Repairing Standards

The holder of the licence must take all reasonable steps to ensure the premises are safe for residential use.

Where the premises is a normal house or flat then it must meet the repairing standard.  Other types of premises should be of a similar type of standard where applicable.

You do not need to submit records as part of your application, but we may ask for more information as part of any follow up checks.

Maximum Occupancy and Floor Plans

The licence holder must ensure that the number of guests residing on the premises does not exceed the number specified in the licence.

Operators are expected to set their own maximum occupancy for their premises based on the number of cooking and sanitary facilities, beds, bedrooms, size of the premises and means of escape. They should also take into account the number that can be accommodated within tolerable noise and nuisance standards for neighbours.

Children under the age of two normally occupy a cot and do not normally need their own bed therefore do not need to be included for occupancy levels (including in the application form numbers).
Applicants are expected to submit a floor/layout plan of the premises of a standard that reflects the complexity of the premises, the number of floors and number of requested guests. Drawings/plans should at least have details of:

  • room sizes;
  • any beds, including type (i.e. bunk beds). Where rollaway/folding/sofa beds are used their location and footprint should be clearly detailed in the floor plan;
  • any steps, stairs, elevators or lifts;
  • location of any heat/smoke/ CO detectors or other fire systems; and
  • any fires/wood burners.

Simple drawings/sketches are acceptable for simple short-term lets but we may ask for more detailed drawings, particularly for larger properties and those with guests on multiple floors or with a high guest to floor area ratio. It is expected that a single sized bed sleeps one person and a small double bed (or bigger) sleeps two.

We will consider the maximum occupancy requested by the applicant; the maximum number that we considers that can be accommodated safely and the maximum number that can be accommodated within tolerable noise and nuisance standards for neighbours and may licence a smaller number than that applied for.

Most properties are expected to be approved with the applicants number without much scrutiny, however, we are more likely to review occupancies if they are well outwith the overcrowding standards detailed in the Housing (Scotland) Act 1987 (Opens in a new window or downloads a file) for dwellings (or those that have high numbers related to unconventional accommodation).

You need to submit floor plans as detailed above as part of your application

Information to be displayed

The holder of the licence must make the following information available within the premises in a place where it is accessible to all guests -

  • a certified copy of the licence and the licence conditions,
  • fire, gas and electrical safety information,
  • details of how to summon the assistance of emergency services,
  • a copy of the gas safety report,
  • a copy of the Electrical Installation Condition Report, and
  • a copy of the Portable Appliance Testing Report.

An example information template for secondary lets is available on our documents and forms webpage.

You do not need to submit records as part of your application, but we may ask for more information as part of any follow up checks.

Insurance

The holder of the licence must ensure that there is in place for the premises -

  • valid buildings insurance for the duration of the licence, and
  • valid public liability insurance for the duration of each short-term let agreement.

You need to submit proof showing that you have valid building and contents insurance for the premises and valid public liability insurance as part of your application.

Payment of fees

You must submit the appropriate licence fee along with your application. The proposed fees are available on our Fees and Charges page.

You need to submit the correct fee as part of your application.

Listings

The holder of the licence must ensure that any listing or advert (whether electronic or otherwise) for the short-term let of the premises includes -

  • the licence number, and
  • a valid Energy Performance Certificate* rating if an Energy Performance Certificate is required for the premises, in accordance with the Energy Performance of Buildings (Scotland) Regulations 2008.  Please see the Scottish Government page for EPC see below for further information .

The holder of the licence must ensure that any listing or advert (whether electronic or otherwise) for the short-term let of the premises is consistent with the terms of the short-term let licence.

You do not need to submit listing details as part of your application, but we may follow up if issues identified with any adverts.

Energy Performance Certificates (EPC)

EPCs are only required for some type of holiday lets, usually for secondary letting in houses and flats. EPCs are not required for B&Bs and Guest Houses. Further guidance is available from:

Energy Performance Certificates for Holiday Lets 

Scottish EPC Register (Opens in a new window or downloads a file)

You do not need to submit any EPC as part of your application, but we may ask for more information as part of any follow up checks.

Equipment Provided

The holder of the licence must take all reasonable steps to ensure that any equipment (including any personal protective equipment) provided as part of the let whether for on or off premises use is:

  1. fit for purpose;
  2. in a reasonable state of repair;
  3. In proper and safe working order; and
  4. provided with appropriate instructions to allow the equipment’s safe use.

You do not need to submit records as part of your application, but we may ask for more information as part of any follow up checks.

Prevention of Nuisance and Disturbance

The Licence holder shall be responsible for the day-to-day running of the premises and shall ensure as far as reasonably practicable that no disturbance or nuisance arise within or from the premises.

You do not need to submit records as part of your application, but if any complaints are made then we will get in touch.