Short-Term Let Legislation: Deadlines & Requirements

22 March 2023

Short Term Let Legislation

In February 2022, new short-term let legislation was passed in the Scottish Parliament, requiring all short-term let landlords to have a license as part of the Government’s plan to tackle the increase in the number of rental properties on rental platforms such as Airbnb. This new law came into effect on the 1st of October, with dates for applying for a license differing for new and existing operators.

Existing short-term operators
Initially, those who already provided short-term lets before the 1st of October 2022 were required to apply for a license by the 1st of April 2023. The Scottish Government has since extended this deadline, and existing short-term let operators now have until the 1st of October 2023 to apply for their license.

New operators
New operators who were not operational as of the 1st of October 2022 must apply for a license as soon as possible and do so before accepting bookings.

What requirements will all short-term lets need to follow?
There are several mandatory legal requirements that all operators must follow to gain a short-term let license:

  • Accommodation must meet The Repairing Standard for houses and flats.
  • Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) – The accommodation must hold a valid EPC dated within the last ten years. This rule doesn’t apply to all short-term lets but is required for individual houses rented out in full.
  • Fire Safety – Including fire warning system & records showing furnishings meet Furniture & Furnishings Regulations 1988.
  • Gas Supply Certificate – All accommodations with a gas supply must have a Gas Safety Certificate dated within the last 12 months.
  • Electrical Installation Condition Report – Electrical safety must be checked at least every five years by a qualified individual.
  • Portable Appliance Testing Report – All moveable electrical appliances that guests can access must be checked and reported on by a qualified person.
  • Private Water Supply – Properties with a private water supply must meet certain conditions. This does not apply to those who have a mains water supply.
  • Legionella Risk Assessment – Whether the accommodation has a private water supply or is connected to the mains supply, it must be assessed for the risk of exposure to Legionella.
  • Buildings Insurance – The accommodation must have building insurance valid for the duration of the short-term let license.
  • Public Liability Insurance – Public Liability Insurance will be required and must be valid for the duration of each short-term let.
  • Maximum number of guests in the accommodation – Hosts must ensure that no more than the maximum number of guests stated on the license stay in the accommodation at once.
  • Information hosts must display a copy of license and license conditions; fire, gas and electrical safety information; contact details for the emergency services; a copy of the gas safety report; the Electrical Installation Condition Report; and a copy of the Portable Appliance Testing Report.

While the deadline for existing operators to apply for licenses has been extended until the 1st of October 2023, your property may not currently be compliant with these requirements. Therefore, we are encouraging existing operators to act now, work through this list of requirements and instruct works as necessary, ensuring that all work is complete before submitting their applications, which must be in by October. It is important that existing operators don’t leave it too late and consider the availability of contractors and materials, which may be in short supply.

All hosts must operate and comply with a short-term license by the 1st of July 2024. Our team of Chartered Surveyors can assist you with your application and ensure you comply with the new legislation.

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