Is a holiday let a dwelling?

Is a holiday let a dwelling?

“The recent press reports of the surge in the number of houses registered as holiday lets have led to calls for planning restrictions to prevent houses in holiday hot spots from being taken out of use as permanent dwellings. We have also, for the first time, had a new enquiry to ask if we can act to prevent a terraced house in an otherwise residential area of a seaside town from being used for short term holiday lets”, says Mark Sanders of Acorn Rural Property Consultants.

“With the advent of Airbnb there has been a marked increase in very short term lettings, often for only 1 or 2 nights, and there have already been some planning cases where planning inspectors and the Courts have had to consider whether, in planning terms, the use of a dwelling for short term lets is a change of use for which planning consent is required”, continues Sanders

“The starting point is Part C of the Schedule to The Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987 (as amended) which provides separate definitions for different types of residential use. The definition for dwellinghouses is at Use Class C3 which is the use as a dwellinghouse (whether or not as a sole or main residence) — (a) by a single person or by people living together as a family, or (b) by not more than 6 residents living together as a single household (including a household where care is provided for residents).”, explains Sanders.

“As with most planning decisions, it is always a question of fact and degree whether a holiday use is a change of use that requires planning consent. However, the Courts and planning inspectors have set a few pointers about when it may be. They include the length of stay, whether a dwelling is occupied by a family or people “living together as a single household”, and whether the holiday use causes disruption and loss of amenity for neighbouring residents. Planning inspectors have also held that taking houses out of use as permanent dwellings in areas where there is a significant housing shortage can be a relevant factor”, concludes Sanders.

For further information please contact Acorn Rural Property Consultants on 01884 212380

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