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If you are considering letting your property for less than 90 consecutive nights but the cumulative total of all short-term lets of your property exceed 90 nights in the same calendar year (ie 1 January to 31 December), you will need planning permission.

When is planning permission required?

Temporary sleeping accommodation is sleeping accommodation which is occupied by the same person for less than 90 consecutive nights and which is provided, (with or without services), for:

  1. a consideration arising either by way of trade for money or money's worth, or
  2. by reason of the employment of the occupant, whether or not the relationship of landlord and tenant is thereby created.

The use of residential premises in Greater London as temporary sleeping accommodation involves a material change of use requiring planning permission by virtue of the Greater London Council (General Powers) Act 1973 (as amended) unless it benefits from the new exception introduced by the Deregulation Act 2015 which came into force on 26 May 2015.

The 2015 Act creates a new section in the 1973 Act which provides that the use as temporary sleeping accommodation of any residential premises in Greater London does not constitute a change of use, (for which planning permission would be required),  if certain conditions are met. The conditions are:

  1. that the sum of (a) the number of nights of use, and (b) the number of nights of any previous use of the same premises as temporary sleeping accommodation in the same calendar year, does not exceed 90 nights. 
  2. for each night counted under (a), the person who provided the sleeping accommodation must be liable to pay council tax (which would therefore include people who are liable to council tax but are in receipt of a discount).

If the two conditions in the new exception are not met use as temporary sleeping accommodation of residential premises involves a material change of use requiring planning permission.

Notwithstanding the above you are advised to check whether there are any restrictions in your leases, tenancies, insurance or type of mortgage that would prevent you letting out your property to somebody else. All tenants including council tenants should speak to their landlord before letting anyone stay in their home.  

Am I likely to get planning permission?

Short-term letting can disturb neighbours as visitors can create additional noise, sometimes at unsociable hours. A high turnover of visitors and renters can also impact on permanent occupiers reducing the sense of community and raising the fear of crime. The short-term letting of residential properties also reduces the permanent housing stock impacting on the local housing supply.

If you seek planning permission the relevant policies against which a planning application would be assessed are set out in the Development Plan including the City of London Local Plan adopted 15 January 2015. Current planning policy in the Local Plan is to resist development that adversely affects the amenity of adjoining residents and presents a security risk, and to resist the loss of permanent housing to short-term lets.

How do I apply?

If you wish to apply for planning permission to use premises for short-term letting you should contact a planning officer in the Department of the Built Environment using the information in the contacts below who will advise you if the proposal is likely to be recommend for approval. 

You can apply for planning permission direct to the Department of the Built Environment by going to the submitting planning applications page where you will find guidance on making a planning application.

Alternatively you can make an application using the National Planning Portal

To find out what information is required with your application, please search 'How to apply'.

What happens if the use is implemented without the benefit of planning permission?

If the use is implemented without the benefit of planning permission it will be considered to be an unauthorised change of use. An assessment of the use will be made in relation to the Development Plan and any other material considerations and an Enforcement Notice may be served requiring the use to cease. You could face a fine of up to £20,000 should you be found guilty of not complying with an Enforcement Notice requiring cessation of such a use. See Draft Enforcement Plan Supplementary Planning Document above which sets out the City's approach to enforcement. 

If you think a property is being used for short-term letting in breach of the legislation

If you think that a property is being used for short-term letting in breach of legislation you may report it to us using a Planning Enforcement investigation form (70KB)or alternatively email: planning enforcement with the details.

Published:
13 February 2017
Last Modified:
13 February 2017

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