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Short Term Let Licensing Scheme South Ayrshire

Applying for a Short term Let licence

From 1 October 2022, if you use a property to offer short-term lets in Scotland you'll need to apply for a licence. This is to make sure they're safe and that people providing them have been through all the required checks.

A short term let licence is required for a wide range of residential and commercial property including self-catered properties, B&Bs, guesthouses, fixed boats, not used as transport, glamping pods, yurts etc. You can view a list of excluded types of accommodation and excluded types of tenancies:

There are important dates that you need to consider as a host of a Short Term Let, They are:

  • From the 1st October you can submit your application for Licence. If you are an existing host you have until the 31st March 2023 to make this application.
  • If you are a NEW host, and have not let out your property prior to the 1st October 2022, you must submit your application and you cannot accept bookings until this has been determined.
  • From the 1st July 2024 ALL short term let accommodation must be licenced.

South Ayrshire Council at the Cabinet meeting of the 30th August 2022 passed the policy on our approach to licencing of Short Term Lets.

How to apply

Before you begin, you may wish to read the application guidance on how to complete the application form fully and also the application checklist which outlines what evidence you will require to submit. It is important when applying that you provide all the evidence required at point of application. If you fail to do so, you will still be charged the fee, however the time to determine your application will be lengthened and it may require further scrutiny. 

You will need to pay a fee for your application to be processed. A full list of our fees can be found at the bottom of this page.

When is planning permission needed for a short-term let?

Under provisions within the Licensing Order, a preliminary ground for refusing to consider an application for a Short-term Let is that the use of the proposed premises would constitute a breach of planning controls set out under the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997.  Hosts and Operators are therefore advised to engage with the Council's planning service, prior to submission of a licence application, to confirm whether they require planning permission or not.

In order to establish if planning permission is required for the use of a property as a short term let, please email planning.development@south-ayrshire.gov.uk, giving us as much information as possible; or call us on 0300 123 0900.

Planning permission is required for 'development'. The definition of development includes a 'material change of use' of land or buildings, even if there are no physical alterations to the land or building, therefore planning permission is always required for a material change of use. 

There are a number of factors which may affect the Council's consideration of whether the change of use is a material change of use. Factors include a change to local amenity or the character of a neighbourhood or area, safety, the type of property i.e house or flat and impact on immediate neighbours. 

Detailed information on when planning permission is required is available in the Scottish Government's publication Guidance for Hosts and Operators - Short-term lets: planning guidance for hosts and operators.

Privacy Note

Please refer to our Privacy note on licences.

Making an Application

You or your agent, must:

  • Complete the online application form. Should you require a paper version of this application form, please contact shorttermlets@south-ayrshire.gov.uk and a member of the team will get in touch.

Apply here

  • Submit a scaled floor plan of the premises and a video as instructed in the guidance, including all other required information as well as Scottish Fire and Rescue Checklist attached (ensure you use the check list): 
    Scottish Fire and Rescue checklist (Word doc) [42KB]
  • Pay the designated fee. You will be prompted at the end of completing your application online. If you are issues a paper application, you will have to contact our team and make payment before your application will be accepted.
  • You will be required thereafter to display a site notice at or near the premises so that it can be conveniently read by the public for a period of 21 days beginning with the date on which your application was submitted.
  • As soon as possible after the 21 days has expired, you will be required to submit a certificate of compliance attesting that you have displayed the site notice.
  • Download a copy of the
    Site notice (Word doc) [28KB]  
    Certificate of compliance (Word doc) [25KB]  
  • If the licence is approved your property will be subject to ALL of the mandatory conditions of the licence as well as applicable additional conditions which are relevant to the property in question:
    Mandatory and additional conditions (Word doc) [19KB]

How the application is dealt with

We will review your application and will contact you if we need any extra information.

If no more information is needed from you, then a copy of the application will be sent to the relevant authorities for consultation before a decision will be made.

In the meantime, your site notice must always remain displayed on the premises. The notice needs to be visible from the outside of the premises the following day from when an application is submitted and accepted. It needs to remain visible for 21 days. If the extent of your premises is larger than 50 metres square, a further notice needs to be displayed every 50 metres along the external perimeter of the premises abutting any highway.

There is a 28-day objection period. A copy of your application is sent to the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and Police Scotland for any comments or objections.

If you haven't had an acknowledgement from us within 28 days, please contact Shorttermlets@south-ayrshire.gov.uk  and we will let you know about your application's progress.

If objections are made to your application, we will contact you to let you know. Your application will then need to be decided on by the Regulatory Panel. You and the person(s) or body who made objections will be invited to speak to the Panel before a decision on the licence will be determined.

Neighbours and Communities

All Short-term Let's must comply with the Civic Government Act (Scotland) 1982 (Licensing of Short-term Lets Order) 2022 and any other conditions South Ayrshire have specified within our policy.

Hosts are responsible for notifying residents of their intended purpose and should display notice from the day they submitted their application, for the 21 full days. Their dates will be showcased on these notices for the public to see and should be placed near the proposed property and be clearly visible.

Any member of the public, neighbour or surrounding resident will be able to submit an objection or representation to any proposed Short Term Let Licence application within an area, and it must be received to South Ayrshire Council within 28 days of the notice being displayed.

We will consider competent objections and representations if they meet certain criteria, which can be found on our policy. Please note, any objections/representations that could be seen as vexatious or have no sound reasoning will be rejected.

Information regarding how to return the objection forms can be found on the application itself.

We ask, if any notices are defaced, none are displayed in accordance with the conditions set out but is aware that an application has been processed for a short term let, that they can fill out an objection form detailing this, and it may be investigated further.

Please note we have a public register of applications made for licences in place at the bottom of the page if further details are required for objections.

Application fees

New licence
 Max occupancy (Up to 4)Max ocupancy (5 or more)
Secondary let£250.00£400.00
Home sharing or Home letting (Or both)£125.00£250.00
Renewal licence
 Max occupancy (Up to 4)Max occupancy (5 or more)
Secondary let£200.00£350.00
Home sharing or Home letting (Or both)£75.00£200.00
Other applicable fees
 Cost
Temporary licence£100.00
Variation£75.00
Replacement/Duplicate licence£50.00