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Massive changes to short-lets sector to go ahead

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The Government has revealed it will go ahead with a national register of short-lets lanldords, along with changes to planning regulations that will clamp down on short-lets in tourism hotspots such as the Lake District and seaside towns.

Landlords with this kind of property will now have to seek planning permission to convert properties into short-lets which housing secretary Michael Gove says is designed to stop a “hollowing out” of communities, address anti-social behaviour and ensure local people can “continue to live in the place they call home”.

The measures, which were first floated in April last year, include a mandatory national register of short-lets properties and the landlords who own them, designed primarily to help local authorities enforce health and safety regulations.

But the planning regulations will only apply to property owners renting out their homes via platforms such as Airbnb and for more than 90 nights throughout the year.

The announcement that the reforms are going ahead follow a consultation on the measures.

A new ‘use class’ for short lets will now be created and properties already being used for this purpose will be automatically re-classified and not need planning permission.


The Government also intends to introduce associated permitted development rights – one allowing for a property to be changed from a short-term let to a standard residential dwelling, and a second that would allow a property to be changed to a short-term let. Local authorities would be able to remove these permissions and require full planning permission if they think it necessary.

Gove adds: “Short-term lets can play an important role in the UK’s flourishing tourism economy, providing great, easily-accessible accommodation in some of the most beautiful parts of our country.

“But in some areas, too many local families and young people feel they are being shut out of the housing market and denied the opportunity to rent or buy in their own community.”

Airbnb has welcomed the changes, saying: “The introduction of a short-term lets register is good news for everyone.

“Families who Host on Airbnb will benefit from clear rules that support their activity, and local authorities will get access to the information they need to assess and manage housing impacts and keep communities healthy, where necessary.”

Read the consultation


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