New Short Term Holiday Let Planning Rules

Published / Last Updated on 19/02/2024

The Secretary of State for Levelling Up Housing and Communities, Michael Gove, has today unveiled plans for short term lets including Holiday Lets (AirBNB et al) and Business Traveller Let properties to be required apply for planning permission from local authorities when seeking to convert from residential property to short term lets.

This is to protect both local workers and residents in tourist destinations and in busy business districts from being priced out of both the purchase and rental property markets.  You only have to travel to popular desitnations in places like Cornwall or Wales to see the huge %s of property bought by non-locals and then let as holiday lets for tourists (that then become ‘ghost towns’ in winter or in ‘the city’ or university towns where frequent business or lecturer travellers are renting short term business lets whilst in the area, thus pricing locals out of the market.

The aim is to make property more affordable for locals and prevent the dilution of local communities as people are forced out of area due to a lack of affordable property to buy or rent.

The New Rules

  • Landlords will be required to seek planning permission for a property to become a short term let.
  • Landlords will have to register the property under new “use class”.
  • The property will also be registered under a ‘National Register’ for short term lets/
  • Existing short term lets already registered with local authiorities e.g., have small business rates rather than council taxes payable, will automatically have the ‘use class’ updated and will not need to seek planning permission.


We understand the housing crisis, the shortfall in new builds and locals being priced out of property but this is not all the fault of landlords. 

  • Government and local authorities are also guilty of not replacing property sold off by the ‘right to buy’ scheme and have done little to keep up with the increased population over the last 40 years and the increasing numbers of people living on their own.
  • People that have worked hard to save money and invest in property seem to be under attack and constantly penalised for trying to better their financial position via both Buy to Let and Holiday Let purchases with higher stamp duty, taxation, EPC rules, fire regulations and more when social housing has done very little to bring their properties up to date and then they sell them on before having to comply.  (The owners of this site have seen this first hand).
  • Holiday towns need tourist accomodation and with the amount of hotels and B&Bs being converting to residential apartments, the authorities also need to be mindful of not strangling off tourist trade that will affect local businesses.
  • The UK is also in the top 10 countries for international tourist numbers (and 3rd for international tourism revenue) in addition to when the UK regularly hosts major events such as World Cups, the Olympics, Wimbledon, Commonwealth Games etc, there is a huge influx of international travellers and there is a suggestion that people letting their property for less than 90 days per year or less will be exempt.

This is a tough one to balance for protecting both seasonal trade and locals for access and affordability.

The National Register will be an interesting data tool both locally and nationally for future taxation of short term lets.  Expect more taxation on short term lets and expect an exclusion from the small business rates exemption.  We suggest short term lets will start to pay full business rates or the equivalent of council taxes, which they currently do not.  This is not fair given it is locals that pay for additional refuse collection, street and beach tidies as well as the impact on local health and NHS facilities when many towns and village populations can double or treble in size during peak seasons.

The register will also bring in a new level of regulation for standards and safety in short term lets that has previously not been there when compared to residential buy to let property standards.

Proposals are currenty being debated through parliament so we have no set time scale as to when new rules will come into force.

Explore our Site

Money MOT
T and C