As you may be aware, the UK Government is currently considering if laws and regulations relating to short term letting in England need to change.
The Government held a Call for Evidence, asking any individual or organisation with an interest in the sector to provide information that will help them to understand the market and consider whether further regulations are required. There is currently no confirmation that changes will be introduced, Host's with premises in England do not need to make any changes at this time, just keep following existing laws, regulations, guidance, and complying with mortgage, insurance and other related documents. But if changes were implemented, they could ultimately have an impact on Theatre Accommodation in general.
We are in communication with Equity and UK Theatre regarding their input to this initiative and have already provided considerable data to these industry bodies to help inform them and offer support.
We are learning from all schemes in the UK and asking the Theatre Industry to take part in discussions with relevant parties.
We will update this page as news develops. In the meantime, please ensure all digs' Health and Safety information is accurate and up-to-date.
In response to the outcry from commercial accommodation providers, Fáilte Ireland's Welcome Standard was introduced a few years ago creating a single set of criteria that all short-term accommodation should adhere to.
Please refer to Fáilte Ireland's pages for full and up-to-date guidance:
Licensing scheme for Hosts with short term lets in Scotland
This summary outlines some of the important points and is accurate at the time of writing 30th September 2022.
Please refer to the latest Government's pages for full and up-to-date guidance:
Guidance for Hosts and Operators
Overview of short-term let licences
From 1 October 2022, Hosts or operators who already operate a property to offer short-term lets in Scotland need to apply for a licence. This is to make sure they’re safe and that people providing them have been through all the required checks. It will also help local councils to understand the needs of their local areas and help with handling complaints.
Hosts already using their property to provide short-term lets have until 1st October 2023** to apply for a licence. They’ll need to show evidence that they used the property for short-term lets before 1st October 2022. Hosts can keep letting their property while waiting for the local council to approve licences.
**Update**: On 7th December 2022, the implementation date was delayed from 1st April 2023 to 1st October 2023 for existing Hosts.
Hosts wishing to start short-term lets on or after 1st October 2022 must have a licence before they start hosting. (Please see Government guidance below).
Hosts not using their property to provide short-term lets before 1 October 2022 must apply for a licence before starting to offer lets. It’s against the law to take bookings or host Guests before a licence has been approved for each premises.
On or after 1 October 2022, it is a criminal offence for any person to continue to operate after their licence application has been determined and refused. All short-term lets in Scotland will need to be licensed by 1 July 2024. On or after 1 July 2024 operating without a licence is unlawful in all cases.
Hosts who do not apply for a licence on time could get a fine of up to £2,500 and banned from applying for a licence for a year.
Responsibilities upon obtaining a licence:
Hosts must make the following information available within the premises in a place where it is accessible to all guests:
a) a certified copy of the licence and the licence conditions,
b) fire, gas and electrical safety information,
c) details of how to summon the assistance of emergency services,
d) a copy of the gas safety report,
e) a copy of the Electrical Installation Condition Report, and
f) a copy of the Portable Appliance Testing Report.
It is down to the Host's discretion how to provide this information. Hosts might display the information on a notice board or in a folder containing details about the premises. The important point is that guests can access it easily. Hosts may also wish to consider providing digital copies alongside booking confirmation.
Cost of the licence:
The cost of the licence will be set by the local council and is likely to depend on the property size and type of let.
How to apply:
Hosts apply through their local council.
Advice and Information:
Guidance for Hosts and Operators
My Digs are in Scotland / Ireland. What do I need to do?
Review the Government Guidance as linked to above and make enquiries and/or applications to your local authority.
My Digs are in England / Wales. What do I need to do now?
Nothing. Any potential changes to short-term letting in England or Wales will likely take months or years to come into force and we will do our best to guide our Hosts through any changes if and when required to do so.
For now, simply carry on and perhaps double-check your Health & Safety section is up-to-date.
This only applies to Tourism and not Theatre Professionals, right?
No one knows for sure but Scotland's policy seems to include almost any room or space where a fee is charged in the scheme.
If you have any questions, in the first instance, please see the full Government guidance.
Click the '+' icon to raise a support ticket to ask any questions not already covered and we will do our best to get back to you as soon as possible.