Since the 26th May 2015, a statute change meant that those renting out their homes for more than 90 days per calendar year had to get planning permission from their council. This short-let renting is known as Temporary Sleeping Accommodation and anyone providing this service has to obtain planning permission. So, if you rent out your home on sites such as Airbnb and Booking.com, make sure you have planning permission!
Who needs to apply for a planning permit?
The planning permit just concerns entire homes renting. If you just want to rent out a room, you don't need it.
What do I need to apply for a planning permit?
You need to submit your application online through the government site and select your borough. Each borough has his own process but you will be asked to provide at least:
- a flood risk assessment,
- land registry documents,
- plus a fee around 400£.
You will get an answer from your council within the two following months.
How likely is it that my planning permit will be approved?
Most councils have Local Plans which have measures in place to stop activity that adversely affects the neighbourhood.
Since short-term letting involves a high turnover of visitors and new tenants, it doesn't add to the sense of community. The increased number of visitors, at all sorts of hours, can also mean additional noise, therefore many Local Plans look to cut down on short-term lets and favour it for permanent housing.
What happens if I rent out my property without planning permission?
Sites like Airbnb have created limitations on their sites in order to comply with the regulations. They will stop your listings from taking any more bookings once it has reached its 90-day limit. So, even if you wanted to list your property illegally, you couldn't.
If there is an investigation into your property and the council believe you are in violation, an Enforcement Notice may be sent to you to order you to stop. If you do not comply, you could be liable for a fine of up to £20,000!
Instead, why not consider getting a permanent lodger once your 90 days are up? Any stay that is 90 days or more is not considered to be a short-let stay, so they will not count towards your allowance for the year. Plus, the limit is only for "entire home" listings, so you can always just rent out a room or two!
Still not sure about planning permissions?
Don't worry, it is confusing. You definitely want to ensure you are doing things correctly. So, is always happy to help you!
Please don't hesitate to get in touch if you have any question about planning permissions or short-term let regulations in London.