Short-term lets

Under legislation approved by the Scottish Parliament, East Lothian Council, like all Scottish licensing authorities, is required to establish a short-term lets licensing scheme from 1 October 2022.

From 1 October 2022, new hosts and operators need to have a licence before you can operate. This means that, if you were not using your premises to provide short-term lets before 1 October 2022, you cannot take bookings or receive guests until you have a licence.

If you have already been using your property to provide short-term lets before 1 October 2022, then you have until 1 October 2023 to apply for a licence and you can operate before you have a licence by continuing to take bookings and receiving guests whilst your application is processed.

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 - (

Application fees for licences for short-term lets have been set by East Lothian Council at £390 per premise.  Payments can be made here Pay for it | East Lothian Council.  Applications which are refused or withdrawn will not be refunded.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