Holiday lets to require planning permissions: The impact on short term lets

With planning permissions for holiday lets being introduced, learn how to ensure you are still maximising your investment.

Published under Our blog — Jul 2023
Holiday lets to require planning permissions: The impact on short term lets

New Government proposals have recently been unveiled to introduce a requirement for planning permissions for short-term lets in tourist hotspots. With the evolving landscape, it is crucial for landlords and investors alike to stay informed about these developments, to ensure their property investment is still maximised, or whether a long let may become the best approach.

Understanding the proposal

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) has projected the introduction of planning permissions for an existing home to start to be used as a short-term let. This is intended to help support local communities in areas where high numbers of holiday lets are preventing them from finding affordable housing to rent or buy. The proposal will also consider whether to give property owners the flexibility to let out their property for up to a stated number of nights in a calendar year without the need for planning permission, to ensure the visitor economy is also sustained and that there is a varied and sustainable supply of housing.

A new registration scheme

Alongside this, the Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) has also launched a separate plan for a new registration scheme for short-term lets. The scheme aims to form a picture of how many short-term lets there are and where they are located, to understand the effect of short-term lets on communities.

The proposed changes would include a planning use class for short-term lets not used as a main or sole home, in conjunction with new permitted development rights, which will mean planning permission is not needed in areas where local authorities choose not to use these restrictions.

The register of short-term lets is being introduced through the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill, which is currently going through Parliament. Depending on the result, the changes could be introduced in England later this year.

The advantages of short lets

Short lets, typically ranging from a few days to a few weeks, offer several advantages for both property owners and tenants. For property owners, short lets provide an opportunity to generate income during periods of low occupancy, and can produce a high yield in a short timeframe. By marketing your property as a short-term rental, you can tap into the growing demand for unique and personalised spaces. As a tenant, short lets offer flexibility, allowing you to experience different locations without committing to a long-term rental contract. Whether you're exploring a new city or taking a short break, short lets provide the comfort and convenience of a home away from home, often with amenities not found in traditional hotels.

The benefits of long lets

Long lets, typically spanning six months or more, are an attractive option for both property owners and tenants seeking stability. As a property owner, offering long-term rentals provides a consistent income stream while reducing the administrative tasks associated with frequent turnovers. Additionally, long lets offer the opportunity to establish relationships with reliable tenants who will care for your property as if it were their own. For tenants, long lets provide the comfort of settling into a neighbourhood and establishing a routine, making it ideal for remote workers, families, or individuals seeking an extended stay. Long lets also often come at a reduced rate compared to short lets, making them a more affordable option for those seeking extended accommodation.

To avoid any legal complications or penalties, it is essential to familiarise yourself with the proposed rules and follow the guidelines set by local authorities once these are introduced. When you are familiar with whether your rental property’s location is one of those deemed as being within a tourist hotspot, you can make an informed decision on which type of let is best for your investment.

If you are concerned about how the changes may impact your rental investment, get in touch with your local team of Hamptons experts today.

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