The party is over! Airbnb hosts require planning permission to convert properties into short-term rentals to prevent vacation homes from crowding out locals and becoming hubs for anti-social behavior
- It is hoped that the measures will deter people from buying second homes, mainly to use them for short-term rentals
- The problem has driven local people out of ‘cherished’ towns and villages, Leveling Up secretary Michael Gove said
Airbnb hosts will be required to obtain planning permission to convert their properties into short-term rentals as part of plans to curb nuisance vacation rentals.
The problem has driven local people out of “cherished” towns and villages, said Leveling Up secretary Michael Gove.
Ministers decide whether properties must be rented for longer than 30, 60 or 90 days before they are considered holiday rentals.
It is hoped that the measures, if passed, will deter people from buying second homes with the primary intention of using them for short-term rentals.
The changes would create a planning use class for rentals that are not used as sole or primary residences.
Pictured: Essex Stays retreat in Great Baddow. Residents of the village complained that they couldn’t sleep because the guests were blaring music from a karaoke room. Rishi Sunak had to apologize for the inconvenience caused to retiree Jeff Jones
Pictured: interior of the Essex Stays retreat. The pub-turned-Airbnb comes complete with its own cocktail bar, sleeping up to 20 for £2,100 per night
Local authorities could refrain from using such controls, but councils in tourist hotspots such as Cornwall and Whitby are expected to take full advantage to avoid squeezing residents out of holiday towns. Mr Gove is publishing a consultation today proposing planning permission for an existing house to be used as an Airbnb or other short-term rental.
It comes weeks after Rishi Sunak promised he would try to prevent Airbnbs from being used as party houses and hubs of anti-social behaviour.
The changes would not apply retroactively, meaning only landlords looking to enter the holiday rental market would be affected, although private ministers have not ruled out a future crackdown on all properties. Mr Gove said: ‘Tourism brings many benefits to our economy, but in too many communities we have seen local people driven out of cherished towns and villages by huge numbers of short-term rentals.
“I am committed to ensuring that more people have access to local housing at affordable prices and that we prioritize families desperate to own their own homes close to where they work.”
Pictured: Jacuzzi in the Essex Stays retreat. The owners pledged to a local newspaper in January this year that they wanted to ‘keep noise disturbance to a minimum’
Separately, the Ministry of Culture has proposed a new registration scheme for such properties so that ministers can get a full database of existing Airbnbs.
Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer said: ‘This new world of ultra-flexible short-term rentals gives tourists more choice than ever before, but it shouldn’t come at the expense of the ability for local people to own their own homes and stay local. The government wants to help areas strike the right balance and today we have an incomplete picture of the size and distribution of our short-term rental market.
“This consultation on a national registration scheme will give us the data we need to assess the position and enable us to address the issues facing communities.”
The changes are aimed at Airbnbs, meaning they don’t affect hotels, hostels or B&Bs.
The number of holiday properties has skyrocketed since 2019, with listings in beautiful places like the Lake District more than doubling in recent years. Of the 30 neighborhoods with the highest density of vacation rentals, analysis by The Times found that 17 were in Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Last month, residents of a village in Chelmsford, Essex, complained they couldn’t sleep because guests were blaring music from a karaoke room and soaking in a hot tub late into the night.
Essex Stays’ retreat in Great Baddow is a pub turned Airbnb, complete with its own cocktail bar, that can accommodate up to 20 revelers for £2,100 per night.
Mr Sunak had to apologize for the inconvenience caused to pensioner Jeff Jones when he confronted the Prime Minister about this boisterous ‘party house’.
The owners of Essex Stays did not respond to MailOnline requests for comment last month.
But in January of this year, they promised to a local newspaper that they wanted to ‘keep noise pollution to a minimum’.