Government releases statement on short-term holiday lets

CLA Senior Policy Adviser Avril Roberts provides an update for members on the state of play for short-term holiday lets in England

In June 2023, the UK Government consulted on the introduction of a new planning use class for short-term holiday lets, while at the same time, consulted on a new holiday let operator registration scheme. The CLA responded to these discussions, and informed members of the forthcoming proposals.

The CLA had opposed the proposals as we do not agree that a new use class will solve the issue of short-term lets in tourism hot spots in England. We also opposed the ability that would be given to local authorities to remove the permitted development right of switching between use classes.

The latest news

This week, Michael Gove’s Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities announced that these proposals will be going ahead, with details to follow before a change in the summer this year.

While we are waiting for full details, there are a few key points for CLA members to be aware of:

- There will be a national and mandatory registration scheme introduced for holiday lets. The government had said that “hotels, hostels and B&Bs” will be exempt from registering with the scheme.

- It may be that homeowners who let their home infrequently also do not need to register with the scheme.

- The new use class for short-term lets will be applied to all those properties currently in operation as a holiday let, automatically. We are not aware of there being a limit on how long a property needs to have been in operation as a holiday let before automatic reclassification can apply.

- There will be new permitted development rights so that properties can be moved between the residential use classes without planning permission.

- The new permitted development right could be removed by local authorities, so that full planning permission would be required to move between use classes.

Looking forward

The CLA will keep members fully updated as more information is published. We have consistently requested that any registration scheme is light touch, and that planning changes not be implemented until data is available on the number of short-term lets. Without a full picture of the industry, our concern is that councils will remove the permitted development right to move between use classes without due consideration of the impact on businesses and local communities.

CLA members must have flexibility to adapt their business without burdensome restrictions, such as having to submit a full planning application to change a residential property into a holiday let, or vice versa.

Key contact:

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Avril Roberts Senior Property and Business Policy Adviser, London