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;
  • home letting;
  • home sharing and home letting; or
  • secondary letting.

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 1 April 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 1 April 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.

Please note that when applying for the grant or renewal of a licence you must submit the following documents in support of the application:

  • Layout plan;
  • Energy Performance Certificate;
  • Public liability insurance;
  • Building insurance;
  • Gas safety certificate;
  • Fire risk assessment;
  • Electrical Installation Condition Report;
  • Portable Installation Condition Report;
  • Legionella risk assessment;
  • Guest information sheet;
  • Planning permission or certificate of lawfulness (where relevant);
  • Chimney / flue annual cleaning certificate;
  • Private water supply sample results;
  • Letter of consent signed by the owner or authorised person (where relevant); and
  • Evidence of operating as a short-term let prior to 1 October 2022 (where relevant)

Your application may not be processed without the above documentation.


Application Type Fees
Grant and renewal application £766.00
Variation £154.50
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 you submitted your licence application to West Dunbartonshire Council. 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.

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

We are required to 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?

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.

Should you have a complaint relating to the operation of a 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.

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 and any further documents and information supplied by you. 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.

Contact us

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

Tel:  01389 738741