Holiday lets have a somewhat chequered history. We have seen many examples where they have been used when not appropriate by landlords and managing agents. This can be either in error by incorrectly assuming that an Assured Shorthold Tenancy cannot be for less than 6 months in length and so there are no other options or to get around the significant requirements when setting up an AST such as registering deposits etc. As agreements, they grant very few rights over the property to the occupier as well as significant power to landlords which is why they appear attractive to prospective landlords. Despite being used incorrectly from time to time, it remains an integral type of agreement to ensure that there are not significant, unnecessary barriers to the provision of appropriate occupation for genuine tourists.
Whilst this is often a profitable form of agreement for landlords, there is some opposition to widescale use mainly from local residents where less properties are not available for longer term tenancies and families are forced to move away. To try and tread the careful balance between these interests, there are new proposals in the works to require planning permission for a property to be used for short term holiday lets. The aim is to balance the needs and therefore to give the local authority the ability to manage the quantity and frequency that lettings like this can be used.
Michael Gove has been commenting on the proposals:
“Tourism brings many benefits to our economy but in too many communities we have seen local people pushed out of cherished towns, cities and villages by huge numbers of short-term lets.
“I’m determined that we ensure that more people have access to local homes at affordable prices, and that we prioritise families desperate to rent or buy a home of their own close to where they work.
“I have listened to representations from MPs in tourist hot spots and am pleased to launch this consultation to introduce a requirement for planning permissions for short-term lets.”
This is something to monitor moving forwards, with plans for these requirements to come into force later this year.
With the ever-increasing obligations being imposed on landlords and managing agents, if any guidance or advice is required, we would be happy to help. You can contact us at [email protected]. Alternatively, read further into our areas of expertise within Property Disputes and Residential Property at Boyes Turner.
Consistent with our policy when giving comment and advice on a non-specific basis, we cannot assume legal responsibility for the accuracy of any particular statement. In the case of specific problems we recommend that professional advice be sought.