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Save your Short Term Let business.

By applying for a Certificate of Lawfulness, you may not have to apply for Planning Permission, even if you have been operating for less than 10 years. We can apply on your behalf. Find out more here.

Trade supplier partners to the

    • The Association of Scotland's Self-Caterers

The cost. The benefit.

With our service, you can continue to operate your business for months after the 1 October 2023 deadline. Assuming £3,000 per month of income and an 8 month delay, our £1,150 service can earn you an additional £24,000 of income, even if your application is unsuccessful. And we'll meet with you on Zoom to help you decide if your circumstances will allow you to benefit before you make the investment.

Don't delay

Your business is at risk

The regulations for Short Term Let Operators in Scotland is deeply worrying. If you haven't applied for a licence to operate by 1 October 2023, you will be operating illegally and forced to close your business.

What's changing

As of 1st October 2023, all Short Term Let Operators must apply to their Council for a licence. This will involve making an application, providing documents, including all required certification, and paying a fee.

Learn more

Who's affected

Anyone operating any form of short term accommodation or a self catering property, including: Secondary letting (self-catering), home letting (renting out your home when away), and home sharing (B&B or letting a room in your home).

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How we can help you

Some councils are forcing Operators to apply for Planning Permission, then refusing to grant it. There is an alternative - obtaining a Certificate of Lawfulness. You don't need to have been operating for more than 10 years to obtain one - if you've been trading since September 2022, we have a strategy.

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The Certificate of Lawfulness

A common mistake being made by many local authorities is that short term lets automatically require planning permission in certain cases, for example 'all flats'. This is not legally correct. Instead a Certificate of Lawfulness (COL) confirming you have no material change of use can help you establish that planning permission is not required. Here's how it works.

'No Material Change'
The Scottish planning system provides an instrument called a Certificate of Lawfulness. With a Certificate of Lawfulness, you demonstrate that your STL does not represent a material change of use. For example there is a huge difference in the pattern of use between a flat open for one night parties and a flat that consistently has families staying short term for several weeks.
Extends trading
The Certificate of Lawfulness application is a valid planning application that will allow you to proceed for a secondary let licence application. The application and subsequent appeal process will take months. Throughout this period, you can continue to trade if you have applied for a licence. The total process including appeal currently takes an average of 8 months. Therefore, the costs of this application could easily be offset by continued trading.
The appeals process
A COL appeal goes to the Department of Planning & Environmental Appeals (DPEA) rather than your Local Authority. The DPEA judges your appeal based on case law - and is not governed by strict local authority planning policies. The application simply considers whether you need planning permission or not.
Does not replace a Licence
A successful COL removes your requirement to seek planning permission. It does not remove the requirement to obtain a Licence. (Update: Due to high demand, we are now unable to support licence applications for new customers, however we are still able to provide COL application support services)
Information required
To apply for a Certificate of Lawfulness, you must have evidence that you have traded prior to 5 September 2022 in Edinburgh, or 1st October in other Authorities. We will require you to provide a floor plan, three images of your property, and a plan of the surrounding area.
Cut off date
Time is short and we are receiving a significant number of enquiries. The cut-off date for applications is approaching fast, so you must act now.

Your application is in safe hands.

We'll handle the entire process for you, including preparation of your Certificate of Lawfulness application, submitting it to your local council, diverting any rejection to appeal with DPEA, and handling your appeal, all the while keeping you updated on its progress.


We prepare your application

Through our data portal, our team of professionals will help you provide high quality information about your property to build the strongest possible application.


We submit your application

Your application must convince the authorities that there has been no material change of use. We'll help you do that.


We handle your appeal

The Local Authority may reject your application. We fine-tune your appeal to answer any objections raised by a rejection.

Ready to dive in?
Protect your business today.


We're helping thousands of amazing people like you

“STL Solutions' profound knowledge of local regulations, coupled with their unwavering commitment to our success, truly set them apart.”

Phil Mowat

“STL Solutions have been a key part in the success of obtaining my Certificate of Lawfulness, giving excellent support, advice and direction enabling me to make a successful application for the short term let property I run.”

Dave Marson

“I have been in ongoing discussions with STL Solutions for the past 6 months, their advice has been valuable for my business.”

Glenn Ford

“I have greatly benefitted from STL Solutions advice as far as licence and rates issues regards STLs within the Edinburgh Council region over the past 9 years.”

Keith Coghill

Simple pricing, for everyone

Fast application process. One price.

What's included in the plan

You do the licence. We do the Certificate of Lawfulness.

What's included

  • Data collection
  • Dedicated client manager
  • Certificate of Lawfulness application
  • Appeal

Total cost, ex. VAT


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Frequently asked questions