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Using your home as a holiday let

The use of your home, or part of your home, as holiday accommodation, even if it's through Airbnb, might require planning permission.

West Lothian Council is keen to support local business, and to promote West Lothian as a great place to visit. So we welcome your interest in providing holiday accommodation for visitors. 

The legal position: if you have a house with three bedrooms or fewer, you can make one room available for paying guests, on a bed and breakfast or guesthouse basis, without having to apply for planning permission. If your house has four bedrooms or more you can let out two bedrooms without having to apply for planning permission. If you want to let out more rooms than that, you will need planning permission. Please note this only applies to houses; if you want to use part of a flat for bed and breakfast accommodation you will need planning permission.

Some organisations, like Airbnb, help you to use your home as a holiday let full time or for part of the year. West Lothian Council takes the view that planning permission is required if your property is available for let for more than 28 days in a calendar year. This means that if you have a house or flat that you want to let out as a holiday rental for more than 28 days a year you will first need to apply for planning permission for a change of use.   

If you know that you will need planning permission and want to find out whether an application is likely to be successful, we offer a pre-application enquiry service which will assess your proposal against policy and issues such as the likely impact on residential amenity.

We're ready to offer you assistance if you need to apply for planning permission: just contact us at planning@westlothian.gov.uk. The council's Business Gateway team is also ready to offer help and business advice.

Our destination marketing organisation Visit West Lothian would be pleased to help you promote your business and engage with the wider tourism sector.  You can contact them at info@visitwestlothian.co.uk