Publication - Advice and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): second homes guidance

Published: 17 Jul 2020
Last updated: 7 Aug 2020 - see all updates

Guidance outlining how Scotland's route map for easing out of lockdown restrictions applies to second homes. 

17 Jul 2020
Coronavirus (COVID-19): second homes guidance


Scotland’s route map for easing out of lockdown restrictions was published on 21 May 2020. We announced the move to Phase 3 on 9 July 2020. Changes in this phase will be introduced in stages.

Further details of our plans for this phase are included in the coronavirus Phase 3 Routemap update.  

This guidance outlines how the phases in the route map apply to second homes. 

Please keep up to date with this and all Scottish Government guidance on coronavirus (COVID-19) and follow the latest health, hygiene and physical distancing requirements.

This guidance applies to second homes across Scotland but please bear in mind that there might be local travel or access restrictions that affect your second home. Please check that you will be able to complete your journey before setting out and check the latest guidance on travelling within Scotland and Transport Scotland’s guidance on how to travel safely.


You can travel to your second home and stay there alone or with other members of your household. Please also see the latest advice on seeing friends and family to see who can visit you while you are there.

Upkeep and maintenance

You can continue to do this yourself or arrange for this to be done by others. You can also have other home improvement work carried out on your second home but you, and whoever is carrying out the work, should comply with the latest relevant guidance (specific guidance has been issued for the construction sector, businesses  and for travel).

Letting out a second home to others

From 15 July, you will be able to let out your home to others.

For more information about self-catering holiday accommodation see the latest  tourism and hospitality guidance .

Selling a second home

You can sell your second home – see our home moves guidance for more information about selling residential property.

Moving into a second home

You can move into your second home to live there permanently – see our home moves guidance.

Local restrictions

If you, or your second home, is affected by additional COVID-19 restrictions imposed in your, or its, local area, you must comply with these restrictions.  You are also advised to have regard to any relevant guidance in relation to your, or its, local area.  How this affects your plans will depend on the restrictions and guidance applying to the area.  For example, it may be advisable to postpone travelling to your second home.

If you live outside Scotland

Activities relating to second homes in Scotland are bound by Scots law and guidance, irrespective of where you are travelling from. You must also comply with any relevant rules in your country of origin and countries through which you travel.

Council tax

If you have any questions or complaints about council tax or other charges in respect of your second home, please contact the council in whose area your home is located. Please bear in mind that councils are exceptionally busy at this time responding to the COVID-19 crisis.

First published: 17 Jul 2020 Last updated: 7 Aug 2020 -