Short-term lets

Under legislation approved by the Scottish Parliament, East Lothian Council, like all Scottish licensing authorities, established a short-term lets (STL) licensing scheme from 1 October 2022.

All existing hosts (operating prior to 1 October 2022) were required to apply for a licence by 1 October 2023.  Since October 2023, all licence applications have to be determined before a host can take bookings or receive guests.

Currently, East Lothian Council has not designated any Control Areas however this will be reviewed over time.  You will need to check if your particular property needs planning permission to be used to provide short-term lets.  You can contact the Planning department at or 01620 827216.  If you apply for a STL licence and you do not have the required Planning Permissions or CLUD (Certificate of Lawful Use or Development), East Lothian Council will refuse to consider your application.  You will then have three months from the date of your application for a STL licence, to lodge an application for Planning Permission or a CLUD.  In the event Planning Permission or a CLUD is not granted, the licence application fee will not be refunded.

Further information can be found on the Scottish Government website:

In the Related Downloads section on this page, you can find:

You can also find information on completing a Fire Risk Assessment here Fire safety risk assessment: forms and guidance - (

Download the current licence fees

Payments can be made here 

Applications which are refused or withdrawn will not be refunded.

If you require further information about this topic, contact the Licensing Team at the Council at or by telephone to 01620 827664 and leave a voicemail if officers are not available.

The Public Register of Short-term Let licenses in East Lothian can be found here