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Window cleaner's licence

From 21 January 2019, you will need a Window Cleaner's Licence if you:

  • are employed (or self-employed) as a window cleaner
  • employ others to clean windows

You should apply for a licence well in advance of this date.

If you are a partner in a business, each partner needs their own licence.

If you are an employer, it is not enough that you have a licence - each employee needs one too.

When the rules change on this date, it will be a criminal offence to do the following without a licence:

  • clean windows for money, promises of money, or with the expectation of payment
  • call at houses, shops, offices or other premises in order to get window cleaning jobs

If you do not have a licence, the police could charge you.

It's not enough simply to apply for a licence - your application must have been granted by the Council.

If we have refused your application, you must have lodged an appeal against this decision in the sheriff court.

How to apply

You will need:


Window Cleaner's Licence Fee (3 years): £136

You can pay the fee by:

  • cash
  • cheque
  • debit or credit card

Cheques should be made payable to North Ayrshire Council.

You should allow for the time that it takes for the Council to carry out the statutory processing procedure. This can take up to 6 months and might involve a hearing at the Licensing Committee.

If there is a hearing, you will be invited to attend. If you cannot (or choose not to) attend, you will be able to write to the committee about your application. The committee will take account of anything you say or write.

The fee will not be refunded or returned if your application is:

  • refused
  • granted for a shorter period than you expected
  • withdrawn

What sort of licence do I need?

Full licence

This is the licence for a regular occupation.

It lasts 3 years, and can be renewed after that for 3 years at a time.

The committee can set a shorter period, but usually the expiry date will be the last day of the month before the month containing the 3 year anniversary.

For example, if you want a licence to apply when the new rules apply on Monday 21 January 2019, the expiry date will be 31 December 2021.

Temporary licence

A temporary licence lasts 6 weeks.

It cannot be renewed. However, if you apply for a full licence during that 6 week period, the temporary licence stays in force past 6 weeks, until we make a decision on the application.

How long does the licence last?

This depends on whether you are applying for a new licence, or asking us to renew an existing one.

New licence

If you apply before the new rules begin on 21 January 2019, your licence will start on that day if we grant it earlier. Otherwise, your licence will start on the day we grant it.

Renewed licence

A renewed licence will be backdated to the expiry date of the previous licence. It will not run from the date we grant the renewal.

If you already have this type of licence, it will state its expiry date.

If you apply to renew your licence before the expiry date, the licence stays in force past that date, for as long as it takes us to make a decision on your renewal application.

What happens next?

When we have your application and fee, we will:

  • inform Police Scotland
  • advertise your application on our website to allow members of the public to make any objections or representations

The law requires that we allow 28 days for the police and members of the public to make any objections or representations.

If there are no objections or representations, the application can be granted under delegated powers. This means that the decision to grant the licence is made by a Council officer, without sending your case to the Licensing Committee.

If there is any objection or representation, we will send your case to the Licensing Committee for a hearing.

We will tell you if there is a hearing. You will be invited to the hearing and will be able to speak to the committee.

If you cannot attend, you can write to the committee with anything you want to say. The committee will take anything you say or write into account when making a decision on your case.

Licence conditions

The licence will be granted subject to conditions (Word, 38kb).

In some cases, we may apply special conditions as well. Any conditions will be set out in the licence document you will be given.

If these are broken, you can be charged by Police Scotland, and the Licensing Committee can revoke or suspend the licence after a hearing. The committee can also take any breach into account if you later apply to renew the licence.

National Fraud Initiative

We follow National Fraud Initiative guidelines to protect against fraud.

Further information

Please consult these notes (Word, 69kb) for more information.

Contact Licensing




01294 324305


Licensing Section, Legal Services, North Ayrshire Council, Cunninghame House, Irvine, KA12 8EE