Short-term let owners to face new planning permission requirements

For owners of an Airbnb or other short-term let properties, new planning legislation is set to come in by Summer 2024, which could lead to new fees and penalties for non-compliance.

In a bid to tackle housing shortages in areas of high demand for short-term lets, the Government is introducing new regulations, which will require a special category of planning permission for property owners.

What are the new requirements for short-term lets?

The Government will require owners of new short-term lets in England to secure planning permission with their local authority to use their property in this way.

A new use class will be introduced to planning permission regulations to avoid confusion with existing classes. Existing lets will automatically be reclassified and will not require planning permission.

New regulations will also introduce a mandatory national register to record all short-term lets in England.

The Government has floated the potential for annual registration, plus a registration fee, although nothing has yet been confirmed.

Why are these changes being introduced to short-term lets?

Put simply, demand is growing.

The average Airbnb host in the UK earns around £6,000 annually.

The market for short-term lets has boomed in recent years, with more people deciding to enter the field on a casual basis – renting out their own home or buying a single rental unit.

As with any industry that has a lot of players, high demand and rapidly evolving trends, regulation has struggled to keep up with the short-term rental market.

In particular, critics have highlighted the difficulty of managing the quality and number of lets in areas where the need for family housing is high.

As a result, service providers such as Airbnb, and Government bodies, have been subject to criticism by consumers for failing to maintain proper licencing and security.

The aim is to provide local authorities and councils with more control over the number of short-term let licences issued.

What will new short-term let regulations mean for you?

It will depend on which property you let and how often you do so.

The rules will apply to owners of new lets and will not be retrospective – meaning they will not apply to properties that you already rent out.

This might mean that you need to put off or reconsider the purchase of a new let, but this will depend on your individual situation.

New planning regulations will also not apply to homeowners letting out their sole or main home for up to 90 nights per year.

The cost of planning permission has not yet been clarified, but current ‘change of use’ charges range from £120 to £258, with the majority set at £120.

The mandatory register could also have some unforeseen consequences for business owners.

Reporting has suggested that HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) could have access to the register, which stresses the importance of tax compliance for anyone operating a short-term let in England.

How can we help?

Planning will be essential to maintain compliance with new regulations and ensure that your business has the funds and other resources to meet these requirements.

We can help you to plan around the additional costs of obtaining planning permission and any ongoing compliance costs.

If you operate your short-term lets as your main business or you wish to grow a side business, we can also advise you on working these compliance measures into your business plan.

Don’t fall behind on compliance. For tailored support, please get in touch with our team today. 

Get in touch

Get in Touch

If you would like to see full details of our data practices please visit our Privacy Notice.