Legal Matters

Let’s Get LETS Right – with Mitchells Roberton Solicitors
Did you know….. 

if you plan to rent out your flat or house on a short-term let, you will shortly need BOTH (i) a licence AND (ii) planning permission? 

Planning Permission is currently only needed where the operation of a short-term let involves a “material change of use”.

Material Change of Use?

The occasional use of a Flat as short-stay accommodation, which is otherwise a sole or main residence, is unlikely to constitute a material change of use. Where a Flat is being used frequently to provide short stay accommodation there is likely to be a material change of use. Short stay accommodation in a house is unlikely to require planning permission provided it is occupied by a single household. City of Glasgow Licensing & Regulatory Committee – Short Term Lets Policy

Control Areas? 

“Short Term Let Control Areas” can now be designated under which ANY change of use – whether material  or not – needs a licence and planning permission. So far there are none of these areas in Glasgow, but there are in Edinburgh. In fact, the whole of Edinburgh was designated as a short-term let control area from 5 September 2022. 

Does a Control Area apply to my property if I have been letting it out pre-designation?

A recent case (Muirhead v City of Edinburgh Councilhas confirmed that dwellinghouses providing short-term lets before the creation of a Short Term Let Control Area, are not caught by this rule i.e. the rule does NOT have retrospective effect. In the Muirhead case the Council’s policy claiming otherwise was deemed to be at odds with planning legislation and was annulled by the court. 

It took a deal of vigilance and persistence to challenge this policy, but the outcome is of huge benefit to the whole of Scotland’s self-catering sector. 

We shall be watching out for the designation of Short Term Let Control Areas in Glasgow…… 

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Mitchells Roberton Solicitors
George House
36 North Hanover Street
0141 552 3422

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