Londoners Win Right To Rent Out Homes As Holiday Lets
Controversial planning laws that stopped Londoners renting out their homes as holiday lets are scrapped from 27 May 2015.
Housing Minister Brandon Lewis welcomed the measure that brings short-term letting laws for the capital in line with the rest of the UK.
The change means Londoners no longer have to apply for permission to let their homes for a few weeks in the year.
The new law also does away with confusion over who can let as some London councils rigorously enforce the rules and others turned a blind eye.
Thousands of homes in London are already advertised for holiday lets on websites like Airbnb, OneFineStay and Gumtree, and many were in breach of the old laws.
The new rules allow anyone to let out their home for up to 90 days a year without applying for planning permission.
Homes intended for letting as temporary sleeping accommodation (holiday letting) for more than 90 days will need planning permission and a switch from council tax to business rates.
“The whole country now has a common standard for letting out homes for three months of the year,” said Lewis. “This sweeps away confusion and criminalising homeowners in one borough while those in another escaped any penalty.”
Fines under the old rules penalised homeowners with fines of up to £20,000 for each letting breach. Lewis said:
“These outdated and needless rules that restricted London homeowners in what they could do with their home have now been swept away. “Londoners should be able to use their homes for short-term lets without the bureaucratic headache of getting planning permission from the council – just like everywhere else in the country.
“Today’s changes will allow them to earn extra money, increase choice for visitors and bring the capital’s short term rental market up to date with the internet age.”
The new rules are part of The Deregulation Act, which was given Royal Assent on the eve of the dissolution of Parliament before the 2015 General Election.
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Planning approval is essentially about controlling the use of land and is required to alter, extend or change the use of existing properties, or to make changes to a listed building or to a property in a conservation area