The Scottish Government approved the short-term lets legislation on Wednesday 19 January 2022 which places a duty on West Dunbartonshire Council to establish a short-term let licensing scheme by 1 October 2022.

What it means for Operators

You require a short-term let licence should you intend to operate a premises as a short-term let. A licence will authorise you to let residential accommodation to a guest on a short-term basis while in the course of a business.

A licence will specify that it is granted for one of the following types of letting:

  • home sharing – means using all or part of your own home for short-term lets while you are there;
  • home letting – means using all or part of your own home for short-term lets while you are absent;
  • home sharing and home letting – means you operate short-term lets from your own home; or
  • secondary letting - means a short-term let involving the letting of property where you do not normally live.

The relevant legislation exempts particular types of premises and tenancies. Therefore, if you are uncertain whether your premises requires a licence, you should seek independent legal advice.

Where can I get further information about the licensing regime?

Transitional provisions

The licensing regime commences as of 1 October 2022. After this date, new hosts and operators cannot accept bookings or operate until a licence for the premises has been granted.

All existing hosts and operators will have until 30 September 2023 to apply for a licence. Please note that you will be required to provide proof that your premises were used as a short-term let before 1 October 2022 when applying for your licence.

From 30 September 2023, existing hosts and operators can operate a premises without a licence only if they have submitted an application and it has not yet been determined. Where an application is refused then the host must cease operating the premises within 28 days of the licence application being refused.

How do I apply for a licence?

You can apply online for the grant or renewal of a short-term lets licence 

Short-term lets Licence

Paper copy forms are available on request from the Licensing Section.

These documents will be passed to our consultees to enable them to report fully on your application.

You must have the following documentation to upload and submit with your application:

  • Layout plan of the premises at a scale of 1:50 showing
    • Rooms - living area/bedrooms/bedrooms available for guests;
    • Room sizes, including bedrooms;
    • Fire escapes;
    • Location of heat/smoke alarms and carbon monoxide;
    • Location of fire doors; and
    • Location of stairs/elevators/lifts.
  • Copy of planning permission or certificate of lawfulness (where applicable);
  • Portable Appliance Testing Report (further information);
  • Where the premises has operated as a Short-Term Let prior to 1 October 2022, evidence of this must be supplied (for example, evidence of previous booking dates and confirmation or receipt of payments for these bookings albeit please do not send personal information of guests or bank account details);
  • Consent from owners) (where applicable);
  • Gas safety certificate 
  • Electrical Installation Condition report 
  • Fire safety checklist (Word Doc)

Your application may not be processed if all the required documentation is not uploaded at time of application. This will delay the processing of your application

You also note that in order to comply with the conditions that are attached to this type of licence you may also require the following (in addition to the documents noted above):

  • Public liability insurance;
  • Building insurance;
  • Fire risk assessment 
  • Legionella risk assessment (Word document)
  • Guest information sheet; and
  • Private water supply sample results (only required where there is a private water supply in use at the premises).

Consultees may require copies of the above documentation when reporting on your application. Failure to provide requested documentation may delay or prejudice the processing of your application.

Inspections will be carried out and the original copies of the above documentation (where applicable) should be available.  You should be note that your licence, if granted, will be subject to both mandatory licence conditions and local additional licence conditions.

Consent from Owner(s)

Where an application is not made by the owner of the short-term let premises

An applicant for a short-term let licence does not need to own the premises in question. Where an applicant other than the owner of the premises applies, then the application must be accompanied by a letter of consent signed by the owner(s) or a person authorised to act on behalf of the owner(s).

Where there are one or more owners

Where the applicant jointly owns the premises, then all owners of the premises will have to declare that they consent to the application. This consent must accompany the application.


Application Type Fees
Grant and renewal application £842.50
Variation £187.00
Environmental Health inspection £60.00

Payment will be requested at the end of the online application process. If you are applying by sending the application by email, instructions for payment are contained within the application form.

Advertising of your application

You must notify your neighbours about your application for the grant or renewal of your licence. To comply with this requirement, you must display a site notice at or near your premises.

This site notice must be displayed for 21 days from the date that we confirm receipt of your licence application, i.e. the Licensing Section at the Council email you to confirm that your application is complete. The notice must be visible to passing members of the public 24 hours a day.

Once your site notice has been displayed for 21 days, you will be required to send a certificate to the Licensing Section confirming you have complied. You should note that Civic Licensing Standard Officers will check that notices are displayed in compliance with the legislation.

You may wish to take photographs of the site notice for your own records showing: (1) the site notice in situ relative to the applicant premises; and (2) the narrative on the site notice.

Your application cannot be determined without the certificate of compliance being completed.

We are required to also advertise the details of your application online.

Processing of your application

Who is consulted?

On receiving your licence application, we will send copies to the following consultees:

  • Police Scotland;
  • Scottish Fire and Rescue Service;
  • Local councillors;
  • West Dunbartonshire Council’s Planning Department (or Loch 
Lomond & The Trossachs National Park Planning Authority if 
  • West Dunbartonshire Council’s Building Standards Department; and
  • West Dunbartonshire Council’s Environmental Health Service.

What happens if there is an objection or adverse comment to my application?

If an objection or representation is received, the application must be considered at a meeting of the Licensing Committee. You will be formally cited to attend the meeting, and we will send you a copy of the objection or adverse comment with the citation letter.

What conditions are attached to my licence?

Various conditions will be attached to your licence. It is important that you must comply with any conditions attached to your licence. Failure to do so is a criminal offence. The conditions attached will include mandatory conditions imposed by the Scottish government and additional conditions imposed by the Licensing Committee.

You can view the mandatory conditions and standard additional conditions in our Short-Terms Let Policy.

How long will my application take to be processed?

All applications must be considered within three months and a decision made within nine months.

You should note that there are transitional provisions for existing operators to allow them to trade pending the determination of their licence application.

How long does my licence last for?

Applications for the grant of a licence are generally granted for a period of three year. Applications to renew an existing licence are normally granted for a further three-year period.

What happens if my application is refused?

If your application is refused, you may request a statement of reasons and appeal the refusal to the Sheriff Court. You are advised to seek legal advice if you are considering appealing a decision of the Licensing Committee.

What does it mean for neighbours and users of the service?

The effect of a licence

All licensed short-term lets must comply with the terms of Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 and any conditions attached to the licence. The terms of the legislation and conditions are aimed to make sure that the holder of a licence is a fit and proper person and that the premises operate safely.

Objecting to a licence application

Any person can object to an application for a short-term let licence.

As part of the application process, the applicant for a short-term lets licence must display a statutory site notice. This notice will narrate the details of the application as well as the objection period. Any member of the public wishing to object to the application should submit their representation in writing to the Council during that period.

The objection or representation must:

  • be in writing;
  • specify the grounds of the objection or, as the case may be, the nature of the representation;
  • set out the name and address of the person making it;
  • must be signed by the person, or on their behalf; and
  • be made within 28 days of public notice of the application being given.

Copies of any objections or representations will be given to the applicant. If an objection or a representation is made to the Licencing Authority after this date but before a final decision is taken on the application, then the Licensing Authority may consider the late representation if it is satisfied that it was reasonable for the objection or representation to have been made after the deadline.

Objections or representations should be sent to: West Dunbartonshire Council, Licensing Team, Regulatory and Regeneration Services, Municipal Buildings, College Street, Dumbarton, G82 1NR, email:


Should you have a complaint relating to the operation of a licensed short-term let, you can seek assistance from our Civic Licensing Standards Officers. You can find further information in the complaints section of our website.

Processing of applications

If you are applying for a licence, your application will be dealt with professionally and efficiently. We will keep you up to date with the progress of your application, including acknowledging receipt of your application. In order to process your application we may require to request further information from and we will do that by email. Please note that if your application is contentious, i.e. objections or adverse comments are received, then it will take longer to process as the application will be referred to the Licensing Committee for determination.

Public register

Download the Public Register.

Contact us

Licensing Team
Regulatory and Regeneration Services
Municipal Buildings
College Street
Postcode: G82 1NR

Tel:  01389 738741