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Graham Awards


Short Lets Crackdown - Labour council worry over brothels and parties

Government proposals on limiting short lets "fall a long way short of what's needed and will do nothing to put right an already serious problem" says a Labour council chief. 

Last week the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities set out new restrictions on short lets advertised on sites like Airbnb and Vrbo. 

Housing Secretary Michael Gove announced that councils will be given greater power to control future short-term lets by making them subject to planning consent.


Meanwhile, a 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 effectively get retrospective planning consent and 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. 

“This will do nothing to ease problems like illegal and antisocial behaviour from party houses or - in the most extreme cases - pop-up brothels” warns a statement from Labour-controlled Oxford council. 

In responding to a consultation last year, the council said planning permission should be required for short lets rented more than 30 days a year. 
The DLUHC's proposals say planning permission should only be needed for a property rented out for 90 days or more, where this is the owner’s sole or main residence. 
The council has taken planning enforcement action preventing entire properties being let as short lets - in line with its local plan - but now claims these new government proposals would undermine that work. 
Short lets monitoring service AirDNA in July 2023 showed 765 properties in Oxford rented out entirely on this basis. 
"This is a classic case of closing the stable door after the horse has bolted. DLUHC's proposals fall a long way short of what's needed and will do nothing to put right an already serious problem for our city” claims Susan Brown, leader of the council.
"We've been asking government for powers to regulate whole-property short lets for years. And while we welcome - finally - a new planning class to restrict more of them, how is it okay to ignore the many hundreds of homes now used as short lets and say they can carry on as they are? 
"We want people to visit and stay in our amazing city. Oxford has so much to offer. But uncontrolled short lets are a blight on our communities, they deprive us of much-needed homes and deepen our affordability crisis. We hoped the government was serious about change. It seems not." 

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  • icon

    Pop-up brothels? Really? 😱 what will councillors try to accuse Airbnb of next? 😂

    Peter Why Do I Bother

    Not The Only Thing Popping Up ...!


    Maybe they know more about them than we do?


    Drat, there's actually a covenant on my property that specifically excludes brothels. Guess I won't be evicting my tenant any time soon then...

  • icon

    Maybe Councillor's missing out they want to know were they are.


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