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AirBnB short-term lets to require planning permission under new plans

A large cottage in the U.K.

New rules are to allow councils to place planning requirements on holiday lets (AirBnB short-term), the Government has said following a year-long consultation.

Housing Secretary Michael Gove commented: “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,” he says.

“This will allow local communities to take back control and strike the right balance between protecting the visitor economy and ensuring local people get the homes they need.”

This would require people letting out their property as a short-term holiday home to seek permission from the local council under a new “use” category. The new rules however would not apply to people renting out their main home for 90 days or less in a year.

Additionally, a national register would be set up providing local authorities with information on short-term lets in their area.

It comes after campaigns from councils, particularly those in London, that have a high number of short-term lets and a shortage of housing.

Adam Hug, leader of Westminster Council, said: “The announcement on a compulsory registration scheme at last acknowledges something this council has long campaigned [and] puts us on the same footing as other major cities around the world. We have around 12,000 short-term lets in Westminster and the reality is whole residential blocks have been hollowed out to become the equivalent of short-term lets.”

“The other issue is that the relentless growth of short-term lets has eroded our limited housing stock. If we could take back all the short-term lets in Westminster and offer them as private rented properties to local people, it would be the equivalent of seven years’ worth of house building.”

“I look forward to seeing more detail on today’s announcement and working with the Government to ensure this is a scheme with teeth.”

Mr Gove, added: “We know short-term lets can be helpful for the tourist economy, but we are now giving councils the tools to bring them under control so that local people can rent those homes as well.”

“These changes strike a balance between giving local people access to more affordable housing, while ensuring the visitor economy continues to flourish.”

Amanda Cupples, Airbnb general manager for northern Europe, said the changes would have little impact on the company because 80 percent of is top 200 revenue markets worldwide are already regulated in some form.

“The introduction of a short-term lets register is good news for everyone,” she said.

“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.”

“We have long led calls for the introduction of a host register and we look forward to working together to make it a success”.

If you would like any more information relating to this article then please feel free to contact me: Telephone – 020 8221 8057, email me here, or visit my profile: Tony Chauhan.

This is not legal advice; it is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues.

A large cottage in the U.K.
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