Planning circular 1/2023: short-term lets and planning

This circular provides guidance on the establishment of short-term let control areas and the need for planning permission for short-term letting.

Annex A: Meaning of short-term let in a control area

Section 26B of the 1997 Act, and the Control Area Regulations define a short term let for the purposes of the control areas.

Section 26B(3) excludes:

  • private residential tenancies under section 1 of the Private Housing (Tenancies) Scotland Act 2016; and
  • tenancies of a dwellinghouse or part of it where all or part of the dwelling house is the only or principal home of the landlord or occupier

Regulation 2 of the Control Area Regulations defines a short-term let as provided where all of the following criteria are met:

a) sleeping accommodation is provided in the course of business to one or more persons for one or more nights for commercial consideration,

b) no person to whom sleeping accommodation is provided in the course of business is an immediate family member of the person by whom the accommodation is being provided,

ba) the accommodation is not provided under an excluded tenancy (see below)

c) the accommodation is not provided for the principal purpose of facilitating the provision of work or services to the person by whom the accommodation is being provided or to another member of that person's household,

d) the accommodation is not provided by an employer to an employee in terms of a contract of employment or for the better performance of the employee's duties, and

e) the accommodation is not excluded accommodation (see below)

An immediate family member includes parents, grandparents, children, grandchildren and siblings on both sides of a relationship of marriage, civil partnership or where the couple live together as if they were married. This definition also treats children with one parent in common as siblings and stepchildren as children.

Excluded tenancy means a tenancy which is –

  • a 1991 Act tenancy
  • a modern limited duration tenancy
  • a short limited duration tenancy
  • a student residential tenancy
  • a tenancy of a croft
  • a tenancy of a holding outwith the crofting counties to which any provisions of the Small Landholders (Scotland) Acts 1886 to 1931 applies.

Excluded accommodation means a dwellinghouse which is, or is part of—

  • residential accommodation where personal care is provided to residents,
  • a hospital or nursing home,
  • a residential school, college or training centre,
  • secure residential accommodation (including a prison, young offenders institution, detention centre, secure training centre, custody centre, short-term holding centre, secure hospital, secure local authority accommodation or accommodation used as military barracks),
  • a refuge,
  • student accommodation,
  • premises in respect of which a premises licence within the meaning of section 17 of the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005(7) has effect and where the provision of accommodation is an activity listed in the operating plan as defined in section 20(4) of that Act.".



Back to top