Publication - Advice and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): second homes guidance

Published: 23 Nov 2020
Last updated: 23 Nov 2020 - see all updates

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

Published:
23 Nov 2020
Coronavirus (COVID-19): second homes guidance

Overview

From 2 November, a new five level system to help tackle the spread of COVID-19 applies.  Please refer to the Coronavirus (COVID-19): protection levels advice and guidance for more information.

This guidance outlines how the Coronavirus (COVID-19) protection levels 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 located in Scotland.  Please bear in mind that there may be differences between the protection level in your usual home location and that of your second home location. If your usual home location, or your second home location, is affected by additional COVID-19 restrictions you must comply with these restrictions.  How this affects your plans will depend on the restrictions and guidance applying to where you live and where your second home is located.  You are permitted to travel through restricted areas where necessary.

If you are intending to travel to or from your second home, to or from a destination outside Scotland, you must comply with the restrictions applying in that country and those that affect your travel too.

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.

Leisure

Level 0:  If your main residence is located in level 0, you can travel to your second home (including to a second home let as self‑catering accommodation) and stay in a group of up to 8 people from up to 3 families or if just your one household, all members of your household (or extended household), provided the second home is located in levels 0 to 2.

Levels 1 and 2: If your main residence is located in levels 1 and 2, you can travel to your second home (including to a second home let as self-catering accommodation) and can stay there, but only with members of your household (or extended household) provided the second home is located in levels 0 to 2.

Level 3: You should not travel into or out of a Level 3 area for holidays or visits. If you are living in a Level 3 area you can travel to your second home (including to a second home let as self-catering accommodation) and stay there with members of your household (or extended household only) if it is in the same level 3 local authority area as your usual home location.

You should only travel into or out of a Level 3 area for essential reasons.   That includes those who must travel for work, education, health or for those attending weddings or funerals which require an overnight stay.

Level 4: You should not travel to your second home for leisure purposes. All holiday accommodation is closed to tourism. 

Exceptions include anyone who is using that accommodation for work purposes; anyone who requires accommodation to attend a funeral; anyone who is providing accommodation or support services to the homeless; anyone who uses that accommodation as their main residence; anyone who needs accommodation while moving home and; anyone who is unable to return to their main residence.

For further information, please see the latest advice on tourism and hospitality sector.

Upkeep and maintenance

Levels 0 to 2: You can continue to do this yourself or arrange for this to be done by others provided that home is located in levels 0 to 2. 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 sectorbusinesses, safer workplaces and for travel).

Levels 3: You should not travel to your second home for general upkeep and maintenance unless your second home is in the same level 3 local authority area as your usual home location.  You may travel to arrange, or to undertake, emergency repairs which would otherwise affect the safety or structural integrity of your property e.g. leaking boiler, storm damage etc. 

Tradespeople can work in other people’s homes providing they follow guidance on working safely. This includes all in-home workers such as utility engineers, domestic cleaners, furniture delivery and installations.

Please see the latest guidance on safer workplaces and information and guidance on travel.

Level 4: You should not travel to your second home for general upkeep and maintenance.  You may travel to arrange, or to undertake, emergency repairs which would otherwise affect the safety or structural integrity of your property e.g. leaking boiler, storm damage etc. 

Tradespeople can work in other people’s homes providing essential services only providing they follow guidance on working safely. This includes all in-home workers such as utility engineers, domestic cleaners, furniture delivery and installations.

Letting out a second home to others

You may be able to let out your second home to others but you and they must comply Coronavirus (COVID-19): protection levels advice and guidance including guidance on restrictions on social gatherings and travel relevant to their journey and route.

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

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.

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

You continue to be liable for council tax for your second home.  If you have any questions about council tax in respect of your second home, or want to discuss your particular circumstances, 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: 23 Nov 2020 Last updated: 23 Nov 2020 -