Renfrewshire Council

Short-term let licence for residential accommodation

What the licence is, when and how to apply, documentation, background checks, costs consultation, objections, representations, how long it takes, conditions of your licence.


What a licence for short-term let is

A short-term let is when accommodation is provided as a business arrangement by a host to a guest.

It is not a short-term let if:

  • the accommodation is the guest's only or main home
  • the guest is an immediate family member of the host
  • the principal purpose is the guest lives there while in education, including attending a school, college, further or higher educational institution.
  • the guest is an owner or part-owner of the accommodation
  • the principal purpose of the accommodation is for work or services by the guest for the host or their family
  • the accommodation is an 'excluded accommodation' 
  • the short-term let is an 'excluded tenancy'.

See the exemptions and exclusions from licensing in our policy for licensing of short-term lets in Renfrewshire [283KB] .


When you need a licence for a short-term let

From 1 October 2022, you will need a licence if you operate a short-term let in residential accommodation. 

You only need one licence if the accommodation is on a single premises.

You need a licence for a short-term let if:

  • you live in the premises and let out part of it
  • you live in the premises and let it while you are away
  • you provide both these arrangements
  • it is a 'secondary letting' where you do not live on the premises.

You'll need to specify which type of licence you need when you complete the licence application form.

If you already operate a short-term let before 1st October 2022, you can continue your letting if you apply for the licence before 1 April 2023.


How to apply for a licence

We now accept short-term let applications online, including the use of electronic signatures.

You can apply, upload and sign for your supporting documents and pay for the licence online.

You can see the Council's policy on electronic licensing applications in Appendix 1 of the report to  the Regulatory Functions Board meeting on 15 September 2022.

Apply online for a short-term let licence

You will need to register on MyAccount to complete your online licence application, which must contain an electronic signature.

The licence can be in the name of a firm, company or named individual. 

If you are applying for the licence but you are not managing the accommodation, you need to name the person managing the short-term let on your application.

If you are not the owner, you'll need consent from the owner or owners to operate the premises as a short-term let.

You must pay for your application before we can process it. You will do this when you fill out the online application form.

There is no refund of application fees if your application is refused or withdrawn.

See how much the application fee costs.

We will check your application when you have paid for it. It is important you reply to any issues to avoid your application being rejected or returned as invalid.


What documents you need with your application

If you're applying for a new licence, you need to provide:

  • a plan of the short-term let accommodation - this does not require to be to scale, but must include the matters set out in the short-term let policy [283KB]
  • valid buildings insurance
  • public liability insurance for the period of any short-term let.

If you are applying in relation to a short-term let which was being used before 1st October 2022, you will need to provide evidence that your premises were used as a short-term let before that date.


Background checks

Checks on entitlement to work

If you're a British citizen or an EU national, you need to provide your current passport with your application. 

If you don't have a current passport, you'll need to provide other documents instead. See www.gov.uk for a full list of documents that shows someone's right to work in the UK.

If you're neither a British citizen or an EU national, you'll need to show us your passport and residence permit confirming you are entitled to work in the UK.

You need to provide evidence of entitlement to work in the UK, whether you're applying for a new licence or to renewing an existing licence.  

We may also pass your licence application to the UK Border Agency if there are any concerns about your entitlement to work in the UK. 

Checks on previous convictions

If you're applying for a new licence, you must provide us with a criminal record check.

If you were born outside the UK, you need a criminal record check:

  • from your country of origin
  • from any other country where you lived there for six months or more. 

If you were born in the UK but you lived in any other country or countries for six months or more, you must provide a criminal record check from those countries. 

Your criminal record checks must be 

  • within the last the six months from when you submit your application
  • verified by the relevant UK based Embassy or High Commission from the other countries.

We can't process your application unless you can show each of the required documents. They need to be original documents and not copies.

We will verify your documents and return them to you immediately. 


How much it costs

Costs for a licence

How much you pay for your licence depends on how many bedrooms you are letting and what kind of a let it is.

Application fees
No of bedrooms you will letHome lettingHome sharingHome letting and sharingSecondary letting
1£250£250£250£800
2£350£350£350£900
3£350£350£350£1,000
4 or more£350£350£350£1,100

Costs for exemptions and variations

How much it costs for exemptions or variations to your licence:

  • Temporary exemption application: £100
  • Variation: £100 - this does not apply to changes to the type of short-term licence.
  • Certified Duplicate Licence: £40
  • Material Change of Circumstances: £100 - this does not apply to changes to the type of short-term let licence
  • Issue of Certified True Copies: £40

If you want to change the type of short-term let licence, for example from home sharing to secondary letting or vice versa, you need to apply for a new licence, not a variation to your current licence.

Cost of inspections

How much it costs for inspection for complaints and non-compliance with conditions:

  • site inspection and assessment by two officers for the first hour or part of the first hour: £149.40 
  • additional hourly rate, or part of an additional hour £149:40.

What you need to do after you've applied

You must display a public notice [241KB] at the proposed premises as soon as you've made an application. It must be displayed for 21 days together with a copy of your application. 

The 21 days does not start until we have accepted it as a valid application. If you are in any doubt about the dates, email us at licensing.cs@renfrewshire.gov.uk or call 0300 300 0300.

At the end of the 21 days, you must: 


Who is consulted about your application

We will send a copy of your application to:

  • Police Scotland
  • Scottish Fire and Rescue
  • the local councillor where your premises is
  • the relevant Community Council
  • any other relevant council departments, including our planning team who will check if you have any relevant planning consents in place. 

They will carry out their own investigations and report back to us as part of the application process.


If there is an objection or representation to your application

If we receive an objection or representation to your application, the application will be considered at a meeting of the Regulatory Functions Board. You will be invited to attend the meeting. We will send you a copy of the letter of objection or representation when we notify you in writing of the board meeting.

If the objection is not upheld and we grant your application, the person who made the objection can ask us for the reason why. They can appeal to the Sheriff within 28 days of the Board's decision. 

If your application is refused, or conditionally granted, you can ask us for the reasons within 21 days of the Board's decision. You can also appeal to the Sheriff within 28 days of the Board's decision. 

You can get independent legal advice about any appeal if you wish.


How long your application will take

We will consider your application within 3 months and make a decision within 9 months. 

If you are already operating a short-term let and you apply before 1 April 2023, it can take up to 12 months to approve your licence.

If you've been refused a licence from us before, you cannot apply for the same type of licence within one year of the date of refusal, unless there has been a material change in circumstances.

If you are not sure what a material change in circumstances is, you can contact us for advice.


If you are renewing your licence

You are responsible for making sure you have applied for a renewal of your licence at least 6 weeks before your current licence expires. If you don't renew your licence before it expires, your licence will not be valid anymore. 


Conditions of your licence

The conditions of the licence [136KB]  contain mandatory licence conditions required by legislation, and additional conditions agreed by Renfrewshire Council.  We may add additional conditions to your licence if necessary and we will assess each application individually.

If your licence is granted, we will send you a copy of the conditions of the licence [136KB] for short-term lets. You need to fully understand the conditions and you should keep them as they form part of your licence. 

You will be asked to confirm that you have read the conditions when you apply online.


How long the licence lasts for

The licence for a short-term let lasts for three years.


More information

If you need more advice about the licence or help with applying contact us at