Short-term lets in Edinburgh

How to apply for a licence and planning permission

If you operate short-term let accommodation, you will need a licence under new Scottish Government legislation, unless specifically exempt. You may need a licence even if you occasionally let out a spare room or sub-let while on holiday. The legislation has been created to make sure all accommodation meets the right safety standards.

In Edinburgh you may also need to apply for planning permission to operate a short-term let in an entire property that is not your main home. 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.

Who needs to apply

Existing short-term let hosts and operators

If you have been a short-term let host or operator before 1 October 2022, you must submit a licence application before 1 October 2023 to continue operating while your application is considered. You may also need to apply for planning permission or a certificate of lawfulness. Please do this before you apply for a licence.

If you were an existing host or operator before October 2022 and do not apply for a licence before 1 October 2023 but continue to operate, you could get a fine of up to £2,500. You will also be banned from applying for a licence for a year. You would not be able to offer lets during this time.

New hosts and operators

If you are planning to start offering short-term lets, you cannot take bookings or receive guests until you have a licence.

If you will be offering an entire dwelling as a short-term let, you will also need to apply for planning permission before applying for a licence.

All short-term let hosts and operators must have a licence by 1 January 2025.

Computer screen showing an online apartment booking website with keyboard, pens and coffee cup sitting beside it on the desk

Short-term let licences

How to apply for a licence
ePlanning portal website

Short-term let planning permission

How to apply for permission