Vision Planning

Do I need planning permission to let out my house?

Holiday letting house in sunset

The answer to this question about holiday lets is annoyingly complicated I’m afraid, so please bear with me!

Whether you need planning permission to enable you to rent out your existing house, or a room in your existing house, for AirBnB type holiday home, depends on whether it results in a “material change in the use” of the building.

When a material change of use has occurred in this context has been considered by the Courts (if you’re interested, the leading case is Moore v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Govt [2012] EWCA Civ 1202) and the Courts have come to two main conclusions. Both mean this is a grey area.

One conclusion is that it is not true to say that using a house for holiday lets will always need planning permission, and it is also not true to say that using a house for holiday lets will never need planning permission. It’s a grey area.

The other is that when planning permission is required is a question of fact and degree in each case. Yes, it’s a grey area!

What does this all really mean, you might well ask.

Well, the simplest way to answer that is to say that whether you need planning permission really depends on how much the use of the building has moved away from being a normal, run of the mill, everyday dwelling, used in the way you would expect a normal dwelling to be used.

This will depend on how much of the house is used for holiday lets and seasonal holidays. If the whole house is let out, it is more likely to need planning permission than if you just let out one bedroom. If the house is let out all year, it is more likely to need planning permission than if it is just let out for a week or a month. 

If the holiday use results in increased impacts like additional or late night noise, extra traffic, late night or early morning arrivals, issues relating to waste, whatever, then it is more likely to need planning permission.

However, in some ways, this could be about to get more simple.

Between April and June 2023, the Government consulted on the introduction of a new use class (C5) for short term lets. The description of the use would be: “Use of a dwellinghouse that is not a sole or main residence for temporary sleeping accommodation for the purpose of holiday, leisure, recreation, business or other travel.”

What this means, if it comes in, is that if you propose to use a house for short term lets instead of it being your sole or main residence, then this will always need planning permission. No grey area. At last!

But this change won’t definitely happen – it’s only a consultation, and in any event, if the house will remain your sole or main residence, but you let out the whole house some of the time, or if you just let out a room or two, whether you need planning permission will still be a question of fact and degree… More grey!

So if you plan to let out a house, or part of a house, for holiday accommodation, please get in touch, and we’ll try to make your particular case less grey.

For more information get in contact with us today.

By |September 26, 2023|Categories: Vision Planning, Residential Developments|
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