New rules planned to limit ‘excessive’ UK holiday lets

The government has confirmed plans to control “excessive” short-term holiday lets with changes to planning rules in England.

Local councils will be given greater power to control short-term lets by making them subject to the planning process under the reforms.

Homeowners will be allowed to continue to let out their own main or sole home for up to 90 nights a year. 

A new mandatory national register will give local authorities information about short-term lets in their area. 

This will help councils understand the extent of short-term lets in their area, the effects on their communities, and underpin compliance with key health and safety regulations, according to the government.

The aim is to protect local residents “from being pushed out of their communities by excessive short-term lets”.

Ministers are considering how to apply the register so it does not apply “disproportionate regulation” on property owners that let out their home infrequently.

The planning changes and the register will not affect hotels, hostels or B&Bs as they will be focussed on short-term lets

The changes are due to be introduced from this summer.

Tourism minister Julia Lopez said: “Short-term lets provide flexibility for homeowners and give tourists more accommodation options than ever before, but this should not prevent local people from being able to buy or rent homes in their area.

“The government is committed to getting the balance right to ensure both local people and our visitor economy can thrive.”

Levelling up, housing and communities secretary  Michael Gove said: “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.”

Airbnb northern Europe general manager Amanda Cupples said: “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.

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

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