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Insights

Airbnb – a Planning minefield?

Posted on 08th January 2020 in Planning and Licensing

Posted by

Kelly Burns

Associate & Solicitor
Airbnb – a Planning minefield?

Airbnb has quickly become a global success and so it is no surprise that many businesses and individuals are using the platform to rent out their properties as short-term lets. You may even be considering letting your home or second property via Airbnb or another short-term letting platform to produce a second income.

Before you commit to using your property for short-term lettings, you should check whether you have the appropriate planning permission otherwise you could be putting yourself at risk of enforcement action by your Local Planning Authority.

Q. When do you need planning permission?

The answer is not straightforward as different rules apply depending on where your property is located.

In Greater London, if the Local Planning Authority has not already adopted a planning policy which prevents short-term letting of residential properties, you may not need planning permission if:

  1. the property is used as a short-term let for a total of 90 nights or less in any one calendar year (i.e. 1 January to 31 December); and
  2. you pay Council Tax in respect of the residential property.

Elsewhere in England and Wales, there are no hard and fast rules. Your Local Planning Authority may have a policy which requires applications to be made for short-term letting of residential properties. Otherwise it will depend on whether the Local Planning Authority considers that short-term letting would involve a material change of use. Each case will be determined on the facts. Generally, it is assessed on the frequency and length of the short-term lets and the likely noise impact.

If planning permission is needed it will only be granted if the proposed use of your property for short-term lets complies with your Local Planning Authority’s planning policies. Therefore, if you are considering short-term lets for your residential property you should first check whether planning permission is needed and if so whether your proposed use would be supported by your Local Planning Authority.

Our experienced team of planning solicitors are on hand to advise whether you require planning permission and assist you with any application that may be necessary. Contact us by telephone on 01392 207020.

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The case involved a bike training circuit that had been set up in someone’s garden. It included the creation of tracks, jumps, ramps and scaffolding towers. The local authority took enforcement action alleging a material change of use of the garden to a mixed use for residential use and mountain bike purposes and use for motorised sport. The landowner appealed against the enforcement notice.

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