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Short Term Lettings - Red Tape Slashed for London Homeowners

New measures introduced today, 26 May 2015, see thousands of London homeowners able to rent out their homes for up to a maximum period of 90 days without applying for planning permission following the overhaul of legislation dating back to the 1970s.

Since 1973, the Greater London Council laws have meant that Londoners had to apply for planning permission to let their homes out for up to 90 days. Those who failed to do so faced a fine of up to £20,000 for each unlawful rental.

The changes to the law, which have been introduced by the Deregulation Bill, and which take effect from 26 May 2015, mean that London is now on the same footing as any other town and city in England.

Londoners can rent their home out for up to 90 nights a year without obtaining planning permission from their local council. The person providing the accommodation must be liable for council tax – thereby excluding business premises. The changes will not affect any existing clauses in tenancy contracts which prohibit subletting by tenants.

Housing and Planning Minister Brandon Lewis welcomes the change and has stated that he hopes that it will mean there will be an increase in choice for visitors and “bring the capital’s short term rental market up to date with the internet age”.

There have been warnings however that these changes could see short-term lets turning blocks of flats into hotels with endless noisy parties and people coming and going at all times of night. Residents also fear that it could lead to a rise in crime in their neighbourhoods and the loss of family housing from the main rental market.

Several London boroughs called for a much shorter rental period of just one month rather than three a year. Ministers responded that town halls could ask for localised exemptions to the new law in exceptional circumstances where there is a strong case to do so. Many Londoners will welcome the changes, particularly in view of the potential increase in visitors to the capital to celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday next year.

If you need any legal advice regarding planning permission or property please contact our expert Property Solicitors at Slater and Gordon UK. Call us on freephone 0800 916 9083 or contact us online and we will call you.

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