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Clampdown on Airbnb and other short lets revealed by Michael Gove

Housing Secretary Michael Gove has this morning announced wholesale changes to planning and regulations surrounding short lets.

His proposals include:

- planning permission will be required for future short-term lets;


- a mandatory national register;

- homeowners can continue to let out their own main or sole home for up to 90 nights a year;

- unspecified proposals which he says “will give communities greater control over future growth”.

Under the clampdown councils will be given greater power to control short-term lets by making them subject to the planning process. Gove claims “this will support local people in areas where high numbers of short-term lets are preventing them from finding housing they can afford to buy or to rent.”

Meanwhile, the new mandatory national register will give local authorities the information they need about short-term lets in their area, and the government suggests this “will help councils understand the extent of short-term lets in their area, the effects on their communities, and underpin compliance with key health and safety regulations.”

Existing homeowners will still be able to let out their own main or sole home without planning consent but only for up to 90 nights throughout a year.

The government says it is still working on the details so that the register “does not apply disproportionate regulation for example on property owners that let out their home infrequently.”

The proposed planning changes would see a new planning use class created for short-term lets not used as a sole or main home. Existing dedicated short-term lets will automatically be reclassified into the new use class and will not require a planning application.

The government says it also intends to introduce associated permitted development rights – one allowing for a property to be changed from a short-term let to a standard residential dwelling, and a second that would allow a property to be changed to a short-term let. Local authorities would be able to remove these permissions and require full planning permission if they deem it necessary.

Both of these measures are focussed on short-term lets, and therefore the planning changes and the register will not affect hotels, hostels or B&Bs.

Further details are expected later today. 

Gove says:” “These changes will ensure people have more control over housing in their cherished communities. We know short-term lets can be helpful for the tourist economy, but we are now giving councils the tools to bring them under control so that local people can rent those homes as well. These changes strike a balance between giving local people access to more affordable housing, while ensuring the visitor economy continues to flourish.”

And another government minister - tourism minister Julia Lopez - adds: "Short-term lets provide flexibility for homeowners and give tourists more accommodation options than ever before, but this should not prevent local people from being able to buy or rent homes in their area. The government is committed to getting the balance right to ensure both local people and our visitor economy can thrive.”

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  • Ian Deaugustine

    This guy must have gone completely mental. Can he still be considered a conservative, or is he a Maoist? Does private property still exist in the UK?


    I think he belongs in the Labour Party. His policies are dreadful.


    Yes you can own it, and pay for it, maintain it, and do what ever you like with it, but you can't control it anymore. No, that has all been taken away from you now, and is all in the control of the govenment. Of course they don't pay for anything, you have to do the paying out, 'cause you have all the money, right?
    What do you mean, of course you have all the money, you bought the house didn't you? Then You must be very rich, obviously. What do you mean you can't make a profit, and are now making a loss?
    You must be a very bad landlord indeed and need to be punished with lots of fines!
    Oh! You don't want to play landlords anymore? Oh! Pity, where are you going to put all your tennants? You can't put them on to the street, they are your responsibility now, so be responsible, least you are punished with more fines, oh and dint forget to pay your extortionate CGT fines/fees. We the govenment must be paid our fees!
    Who in their right mind would ever want to own property to rent in this county?

    • A JR
    • 19 February 2024 08:10 AM

    This is nothing short of ‘state sequestration of private property’. A fine example of communism. Shame on Gove, shame on the tories.

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    Insanity! Does the government still not understand that the way to increase the availability of private-sector housing and reduce rents is to free up the market?

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    Unbelievable impossible to make any sense of it at all.
    What does he want never understood this 90 nights thing what do you do with the other 275 nights. B & B’s not affected are they not same as AirB&B.
    Liz Truss I thought you had lost the plot come back all is forgiven this guy is off the scale.
    How can you make sense of this other than destroy all existing Business for the Big Boys out of control to take over.
    It can be summed up in a single line.
    Gobbledegook Stark Raven Mad.


    Perhaps Gove really belongs in the Monster Raving Loonie Party.


    Michael, I believe that previously you could let for very short lets for 90 days of the year (January to December) in London and for the rest of the year you could let for longer lets e.g three to six months. Lets for three to six months were regarded as "medium term lets".

    I have been letting for three to six months to visiting academics (at below market rent for long term lets), but if a tenant left a little before the three months due to unforeseen circumstances it didn't matter because of the 90 day rule.

    All my tenancies, up to now, have been fixed term shorthold assured, but that would not be the case in the future because of the Renters Reform legislation.

    I agree that all the legislation is ending the private rental sector for small landlords. There is too much demand for accommodation for that to be a good idea. And there is going to be a huge loss of income tax.

    • A JR
    • 19 February 2024 08:20 AM

    All true, Michael.
    We can now look forward to our less than esteemed NRLA ‘welcoming’ this nonsense and offering Gove a cuddle!

  • Ian Deaugustine

    The madness of this and other measures ultimately confirms the failure of the Tories' housing policies. First, they allowed those who lived in council houses to buy them (nonsense), they let in the country millions of immigrants, then tories didn't spend a pence in 14 years to build homes for those who need, now here's the rabbit out of the hat: the Tories are taking away the right of homeowners to do what they want with it as a remedy for their mistakes. No, gentlemen, the house is mine, and I do what I want with it: a free meeting of supply and demand, or there will be war between us and you.

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    At this point i think Gove is just spouting lefty nonsense (he knows their a spent force and all he can do now is spout lefty rhetoric to try and win the lefty majority vote ) so he can still go into all the hip trendy little bars around north London and score (self admitted cocaine user!) without getting Stoved in?😂

    The tories need to stop spouting Karl Marx Das Capital nonsense and go and sit in a dark room with a cold towel wrapped around their heads and figure out why did their core voter base (people with capitalist values) not vote for them and why was they voted out of power.

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    Don't forget that Labour continued the policy of selling off council homes when they were in power too. No difference between either of the main parties.

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    I always thought this was coming, as soon as we all started turning our standard BTL’s into Airbnbs, Labour will continue with this when they get in. We are the hunted not the hunter. It will only get worse 😬

  • James Scollard

    Short term let’s work, because there is demand, I had a short let for 8 months & then long let for 1 year. Now, the fluidness is reduced. A fluid housing market is key to a successful economy.

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    ". . . disproportionate regulation . . . " says it all.

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    The Country must be in a shocking economic state if all is left is to attack private property owners that bought the property with their own private finance. Its confiscation of private property.
    They have no one to sweep the leaves, unblock the drains or empty the road gulley’s, ponding and flooding everywhere in London yesterday, roads saturated and the surface crumbling away only after been done 3 years wasting billions, no one to fill pot holes either, it’s a disgrace.
    The Mayor & Council’s should learn how to do their own job first run, maintain their Borough’s properly. Also learn how to cone of temporary road works and not temporary single foil traffic when to roads were plenty wide enough to let traffic flow, holding up thousands of Cars/ lorries unnecessarily causing pollution and millions of lost hours to Business and every one else.
    I done enough of it in my time to know like 9 miles of foundation etc for suspended Street lighting from Hogarth Roundabout to Heathrow virtually in the central reservation on the A4., start off at 10.00 o’clock put up the correct Signage Cone off the work area and be cleared by 4.00 o’clock each day.
    Everyone that can work should work if the Benefit wasn’t there they would.


    It's all too soft now. We need the workhouses back where people were made to work for accomodation and food. Now tney shameless log into to DWP dot com for free money.

  • John  Adams

    Pension Controls are next on the agenda, with increases in the minimum age for taking a lump sum up from 55 to 58+
    Retirement Age up to 70 from 68 and lifetime contribution limits reduced further.

    You can be certain that controls on Savings Accounts is in the queue. Gove is a WEF puppet

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    Time to leave the party......

  • Andrew Murray

    Ive emailed my conservative MP letting them know that they will not be getting my vote again or anyone in my family and they should look forward to retirement or another job in civvy Street. Landlords need to vote Labour or Lib Dem depending on who is strongest in each constituency.
    That way there will be a clear out of the clowns and hopefully they are replaced with someone who has proper Conservative values. If they are replaced with more clowns keep voting them out.


    Landlords voting Labour or Limp Dumbs will be like turkeys voting for Christmas.
    I don't email my MP these days since he ignores me after I objected to some piece of faux-Tory policy.


    I did that - my mp seemed oblivious - they do not seem to recognise the wide spread strength of feeling against this govt or just dont care if it means they cannot pursue their own selfish agendas


    I would suggest Reform to indicate a return to the right wing. Otherwise the clowns will get cleared out, and will go even further left at the next election.

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    Many mps and councillors in certain areas do not acknowledge there emails very un proffesional .just me me attitude


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