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Short-term let licence

On Saturday 1st October 2022 legislation approved by the Scottish Parliament will start. This law applies throughout Scotland and Councils must ensure the law is implemented. The law applies to accommodation used as a short-term let (STL). This covers houses, flats or rented rooms.

The owner of the STL accommodation is called the host. The host will need a licence from the Council unless one of the exemptions in the legislation applies (see 'What are the exemptions which mean I don't need a licence?').

Hosts who already have STLs:

The Council policy

The Licensing Committee carried out a public consultation on a draft 'Licensing Policy Statement'. There were many comments from members of the public. The Committee met on Monday 26th September 2022, considered all the comments and approved the draft which we had published for comment.

The short-term let policy (PDF, 526kb) is available.

As well as setting out the Council's policy on many matters, it includes links to other websites and a summary of the rules, including the exemptions which means that some Hosts might not need licences at all.

What is a STL?

There are 3 kinds of STL: 

  • Secondary Letting (where the STL relates to accommodation which is not the host’s home)
  • Home Sharing (where the STL relates to accommodation which is the host’s home for example, a bed-and-breakfast)
  • Home Letting (where the STL relates to accommodation which is the host’s home)

You will need a Licence covering one of these (you can also get a licence covering both Home Sharing and Home Letting).

I own two or more houses which I use as STLs. Do I need a licence for each one?

Yes. Under the separate Landlord Registration Scheme, you would need one landlord registration no matter how many houses you had, but the STL legislation is different and means you need one Licence per separate dwelling. Accommodation that is on a single premises requires only one Short-Term Let Licence.

What are the exemptions which mean I don't need a licence?

See parts 12 to 16 of our short-term let policy (PDF, 526kb).

What do I need to do to apply for a licence?

Our short-term let policy (PDF, 526kb) contains:

  • Part 7 - How the Council deal with Licence applications
  • Part 18 - Before you apply for a Licence
  • Annex K - What documents do I need?
  • Annex L - What documents do I have to give Guests?

What does this mean for me?

This depends on the answer to:

"Did you use that accommodation as a short-term let on 30th September 2022? (For example, was a guest staying there or was it listed on a website as available for a booking on a later date?)"

If the answer is no:

You can only start using the accommodation as a STL if and when the Council grant the licence (it is not enough to apply to the Council for a licence).

If the answer is yes:

You are an existing host in relation to that accommodation.

How do I apply for a Licence?

To apply for a Short-Term Let Licence, please use the Short-Term Let Licence Application Form (Word, 82kb).

Before doing so, please read our Short Term Let Licensing Frequently Asked Questions (PDF, 467kb).

If you are an existing host of the accommodation you will want a Licence for, you don't have to apply for a Licence until 31 March 2023.

It will be quicker for you to request confirmation of your existing host status using the free North Ayrshire Council Existing Hosts Confirmation Scheme.

If you do apply, you will need to display a Short-Term Let Licensing Site Notice (Word, 36kb) at or near the accommodation for 21 days, and after that period you will have to give us a Short-Term Let Licensing Site Notice Display Certificate (Word, 35kb).

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