Second homes guidance – July 3


Scotland’s route map for easing out of lockdown restrictions was published on 21 May 2020 and Scotland’s route map – indicative dates for the remainder of Phase 2 and early Phase 3 was published on 24 June.

This guidance outlines how the phases in the route map apply to second homes.

Please keep up to date with this and all Scottish Government guidance on Coronavirus (COVID-19) and follow the latest health, hygiene and physical distancing requirements.

This guidance applies to second homes across Scotland but please bear in mind that there might be local travel or access restrictions that affect your second home.  Please check that you will be able to complete your journey before setting out.


You can travel to your second home and stay there alone or with other members of your household.

Upkeep and maintenance

You can do this yourself or arrange for this to be done by others but you and they must comply with any relevant guidance (specific guidance has been issued for the construction sector and for travel).

Upkeep and maintenance includes, for example, repairing roof or gutters, dealing with damp, mowing the lawn and attending to paint work.  However, it does not extend to building an extension or refitting a bathroom or kitchen, unless this was a necessary consequence of repair work.

Letting out a second homes to others

You can let out your home to others, providing there are no shared facilities between households. Shared facilities means any internal space which is used by more than one household, including kitchens, bathrooms, other living areas and shared hallways.

Self-catering accommodation opening before 15 July must be accessible without entering or moving across communal areas.  For the avoidance of doubt, flats and tenements only accessible through communal stairs and passages should not be let as holiday accommodation until 15 July.

From 15 July, you will be able to let out your home even if it has shared facilities.

For more information about self-catering holiday accommodation see the tourism guidance.

Selling a second home

You can sell your second home – see our home moves guidance for more information about selling residential property.

Moving into a second home

You can move into your second home to live there permanently – see our home moves guidance.

Using a second home to quarantine when returning from abroad

You are only entitled to leave a place to travel where you have a reasonable excuse.  You should only use a second home for quarantine purposes where you consider you have a reasonable excuse not to return to your primary residence.

If you live outside Scotland

Activities relating to second homes in Scotland are bound by Scots law and guidance, irrespective of where you are travelling from.  You must also comply with any relevant rules in your country of origin and countries through which you travel.

Council tax

If you have any questions or complaints about council tax or other charges in respect of your second home, please contact the council in whose area your home is located.  Please bear in mind that councils are exceptionally busy at this time responding to the COVID-19 crisis.

Source: Scottish Government