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 - a summary:
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. Hosts will 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. During this transitional period where future bookings exist on listings that have a pending licence application, the following legislation on www.gov.scott here - scroll down to section titled (g) Transitional period will apply.
To comply with this legislation these words will be included on any qualifying listings.
'Bookings are subject to licensing approval.
These digs are currently acquiring a letting licence.
All bookings are subject to a successful licence application'.
Please let us know if you have already applied for your licence. To see how to do this please see our help article: How to manage my digs Short-Term Letting Licence (STL).
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.
All Hosts (Existing and New)
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 therefore need to hold a valid licence from 1 January 2025 to operate a short-term let. On or after 1 January 2025 operating without a licence unlawful in all cases (unless a sheriff has provided an extension to the processing time for an application from an existing host).
Hosts who do not apply for a licence on time could be fined, and banned from applying for a licence for a year.
Temporary Exemption to the requirement to have a short term let licence (Edinburgh city council)
Under the terms of the 1982 Act, temporary exemptions can be issued for a specified single continuous period not exceeding 6 weeks in any period of 12 months. The 6 weeks limit on a licence is a maximum, and not a default. Edinburgh Council will consider applications for STL temporary exemptions in certain circumstances as set out below:
a) During the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and Edinburgh International Festival
b) During Edinburgh’s Christmas & Hogmanay Festive Period
c) For Major Sporting Events
d) For Major International Events
The benefit of applying for a temporary exemption to the requirement to have a short term let licence would be that you can still host performers during the Edinburgh Fringe or any of the events mentioned above. However you will still have to pay for this temporary exemption (refer to your local council website to see exact prices), and you will still have to comply with the many of the responsibilities set out below to obtain this exemption.
Useful links and information about the Edinburgh Temporary Exemption:
FAQs (question 8)
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:
Please refer to the latest Government's pages for full and up-to-date guidance:
**Update**: On 7th December 2022, the implementation date was delayed from 1st April 2023 to 1st October 2023 for existing Hosts.
NEWS: On 8th June 2023, a judicial review in Edinburgh ruled that elements of the Short Term letting policy were unlawful. Until official changes take effect on the Government's website, the following guidance still stands. We at TheatreDigsBooker don't want to put our customers in a position that breaches any remaining policies. We will update this page when we know more. We thank you for your understanding and patience. For the latest information please refer to the Scottish Government web pages listed below.
This summary outlines some of the important points and is accurate at the time of writing 11th September 2023.
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.
If you have any questions please visit our Help Centre