Short term lets: planning guidance for hosts and operators

Guidance to assist operators and prospective operators of short-term let accommodation in understanding the planning requirements that may apply to their property.

1. Introduction

(a) About this guidance

1.1. This guidance is intended to provide guidance on planning to assist any person who is letting, or intends to let, a property as a short-term let.

1.2. Separate guidance has been produced for the short-term lets licensing scheme. Hosts and operators must comply with both planning and licensing law.

1.3. This guidance is non-statutory and should not be interpreted as offering legal advice.

(b) Policy objectives

1.4. The Scottish Government's purpose in the regulation of short-term lets is to ensure that local authorities have appropriate regulatory powers to balance the needs and concerns of their communities with wider economic and tourism interests.

(c) Glossary

1.5. In this guidance, the following terms are used:

"the 1997 Act"

means the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997;

"the Control Area Regulations"

mean the Town and Country Planning (Short-term Let Control Areas) (Scotland) Regulations 2021 (SSI 2021/154);

"the Control Area Amendment Regulations"

mean the Town and Country Planning (Short-term Let Control Areas) (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2022 (SSI 2022/33)

"control area"

means a short-term let control area designated under section 26B of the 1997 Act, as amended by the Planning (Scotland) Act 2019;


For the purposes of this guidance means a unit of residential accommodation including a flat

"host" (or "operator")

means a person or company providing accommodation for short-term lets;

"licensing scheme"

means the scheme established by the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 (Licensing of Short-term Lets) Order 2022 (SSI 2022/32);


means the accommodation (room, rooms or premises) let to the guest(s) as a short-term let.

"Use Classes Order"

Refers to The Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) (Scotland) Order 1997



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