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Chamber and committees

Question reference: S6W-21311

  • Asked by: Jamie Greene, MSP for West Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party
  • Date lodged: 19 September 2023
  • Current status: Answered by Paul McLennan on 26 September 2023


To ask the Scottish Government what its position is on whether households and their guests who are engaged in the specific scenarios of pet-sitting, house-sitting or house-swapping, where no financial transaction is involved nor any business or commercial activity has taken place, will require a short-term let licence under the new licensing scheme.


Where house or pet-sitting does not involve payment for services, or other commercial considerations such as benefits in kind, that activity is classed as an ‘informal arrangement’ between individuals. There is no requirement for a short-term let licence.

Where that activity is performed as a paid service by a professional, there would be no requirement for a short-term let licence - if the accommodation is provided for the principal purpose of facilitating the provision of work or services by the guest.

Home exchanges are within scope of the short-term let licensing legislation - they include a commercial consideration in the form of a benefit in kind. The mandatory set of safety standards at the heart of the scheme, such as gas safety certificates and appropriate electrical equipment, still apply to homes being swapped. Anyone interested in using accommodation will wish to be assured that it meets required standards. Additionally, it is beneficial for ‘home swappers’ allowing guests to use their home to be able to advise those guests that the accommodation is licensed and complies with relevant conditions.