Short-term lets - Planning

Short term lets - Planning

The Scottish Government has introduced planning and licensing legislation to help us regulate short term lets.

Planning and licensing are two separate requirements. Some short term lets will require both.

This information is about the short term lets planning legislation and policy. Find out more about short-term lets licensing requirements.

Short term let control area

The whole of the City of Edinburgh Council area has been designated as a short-term let control area. The designation came into effect on 5 September 2022.

From the 5 September 2022, if a dwellinghouse, that is not a principal home, is used as a short term let, it is deemed a material change of use requiring planning permission.

If a dwellinghouse had already changed to a short term let prior to the control area, it may or may not have resulted in a material change of use requiring planning permission.

To obtain confirmation of the lawful use, you can apply for a certificate of lawfulness.

Planning policy and guidance

Planning applications for short term lets will be assessed against the development plan

The 2023 Scottish Government circular provides guidance on the establishment of short term let control areas and the need for planning permission for short term letting.

Planning permission for a short term let

The change of use after 5 September 2022 of an entire dwelling, that is not someone’s principal home, to a short term let will need planning permission.

Planning permission will not normally be required for home sharing or home letting. The individual circumstances can be confirmed through the submission of a planning application or a certificate of lawfulness.

Home sharing

Home sharing means using all or part of your own home for short term lets whilst you are still living in the home.

Home letting

Home letting means using all or part of your principal home for short term lets whilst you are absent. For example, whilst you are on holiday or absent for other purposes for a limited period, but the property remains your principal home.

Apply for planning permission

Before applying, read our advice on the information we need for a short-term let planning application

Apply for planning permission through ePlanning.

Check our fees for short-term let applications.

Apply for a certificate of lawfulness

A certificate of lawfulness is required when a person wants legal confirmation that their existing or proposed use are lawful in planning terms.

For example, for an existing short term let you could apply for a certificate of lawfulness of an existing use or development where the property

  • has been in use as a short term let for more than 10 years and no enforcement action has been taken against the change of use in that time
  • is being used for short term letting and you consider there has been no material change of use.

Find out what is required to be submitted with an application for a certificate of lawfulness for a short-term let.

Apply for a certificate of lawfulness through ePlanning.

Check our fees for short-term let applications

Request a review or appeal

The majority of short term let applications are determined under the statutory scheme of delegation for local developments so are subject to ‘review’ rather than appeal. The decision letter on your application will tell you how to submit a review or appeal.

How to request a review or appeal a short-term let

Planning enforcement and short-term lets

Report a possible breach of planning control