Hosts of Short-Term Lets in Scotland

The Scottish Government has introduced new legislation which means that hosts of Short-Term Lets will have to apply for a licence under the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 (Licensing of Short-term Lets) Order 2021.[1]

Mandatory Conditions- Electrical Safety Checks

To apply for a licence, hosts must comply with a range of mandatory safety conditions. One of these is to have an electrical safety check carried out before the application, and then continue these at least every five years.

The electrical safety check should be carried out by a competent person. The best way to ensure this is to use a firm that is a member of an accredited registration scheme. In Scotland, this will usually mean that they are registered with NICEIC, a member firm of the Electrical Contractors' Association of Scotland (SELECT), or a member of the National Association of Professional Inspectors and Testers (NAPIT).

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What does an electrical safety inspection involve?

It is the duty of the host to ensure that any electrical fittings or items are both:

  • In a reasonable state of repair, and
  • In proper and safe working order

An electrical safety inspection should cover both the installation, fixtures, and fittings as well as any moveable appliances that are provided by the host. The following reports should then be provided:

  • An Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) detailing the condition of any electrical installations. This will also recommend any necessary remedial work
  • A Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) Report detailing the working order of any moveable appliances. Appliances that have been inspected should also be labelled, signed, and dated.

A copy of these reports should be made easily accessible for guests on the premises.

When should the electrical safety checks be carried out?

The electrical safety checks are one of the mandatory conditions of obtaining a licence as a host of a short-term let. This means that to apply for a licence you must show that you have made arrangements for these checks and have obtained both an EICR and PAT Report. The Scottish Government has set out the time scales for applications. The Local Authorities should have measures in place to begin receiving applications from 1 October 2022.

From 1 October 2022

  • Applications open
  • Existing hosts (those who have had guests prior to this date) can begin applying for licences but can continue to operate without one.
  • New hosts must have a licence to operate

From 1 April 2023

  • Existing hosts must have applied for a licence but can continue to operate if they are awaiting a decision

From 1 April 2024

  • All hosts must have a licence

As the application process can begin from the 1 October 2022, hosts should consider beginning the preparation work as soon as possible, and this would include organising an electrical safety check. The electrical safety checks should be organised for at least every five years.  

For full guidance on the application process and the mandatory conditions, please see the Scottish Government Guidance.

[1] Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 (Licensing of Short-term Lets) Order 2021 (SSI 2021/[ ])