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

When is planning permission needed?

Temporary sleeping accommodation is sleeping accommodation which is occupied by the same person for fewer 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 the City as temporary sleeping accommodation is a material change of use which needs planning permission pursuant to Greater London Council (General Powers) Act 1973 (as amended) unless it benefits from the exception made by the Deregulation Act 2015.

The 2015 Act adds a section to the 1973 Act which provides that the use as temporary sleeping accommodation of a residential premise in the City does not constitute a change of use, (for which planning permission would be needed), 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 includes people who are liable to council tax but receive a discount).

If these two conditions are not met, using a residential premise for temporary sleeping accommodation is a material change of use which needs planning permission.

Am I likely to get planning permission?

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

If you apply for planning permission the application will be considered against the relevant policies set out the London Plan (visit the GLA  website) and the City of London Local Plan, called collectively 'the Development Plan'. The Local Plan policies resist development that adversely affects the amenity of adjoining residents and present a security risk and resist the loss of permanent housing to short-term lets.

How do I apply?

If you want 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 who will advise you if the proposal is likely to be recommend for approval.

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

You can make an application using the National Planning Portal

What happens if the use is changed without planning permission?

If the use is changed without planning permission it will be an unauthorised change of use. An assessment of the use will be made against the policies in the Development Plan and any other material considerations and you may be served with an Enforcement Notice requiring the use to cease. If you are found guilty of not complying with an Enforcement Notice requiring cessation of such a use you could be fined up to £20,000.

Go to the Enforcement Plan page to see how the City operates planning enforcement.

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

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

Published:
13 February 2017
Last Modified:
21 May 2019

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