Breaking Property News – 21/02/24

Daily bite-sized proptech and property news in partnership with Proptech-X.

 

Government announces new Short-term lets rules to protect communities and keep homes available.

Press Release London February 2024  Overview – ‘Short-term lets rules to protect communities and keep homes available. Local residents will be protected from being pushed out of their communities by excessive short-term lets thanks to changes in planning rules. Planning permission will be required for future short-term lets. Mandatory national register will provide valuable information and help ensure accommodation is safe. Proposals will give communities greater control over future growth. Homeowners can continue to let out their own main or sole home for up to ninety nights a year.’

Analysis – ‘Local residents will be protected from being pushed out of their communities by excessive short-term lets thanks to changes in planning rules announced today. Under the reforms councils will be given greater power to control short-term lets by making them subject to the planning process. 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.

These changes are part of a long-term plan to prevent a “hollowing out” of communities, address anti-social behaviour and ensure local people can continue to live in the place they call home. Meanwhile, a new mandatory national register will give local authorities the information they need about short-term lets in their area. 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.

Short-term lets are now a significant part of the UK’s visitor economy, and can provide increased choice and flexibility for tourists and business travellers. To recognise this, homeowners will still be able to let out their own main or sole home for up to 90 nights throughout a year without planning permission and government is considering how to apply the register so it does not apply disproportionate regulation for example on property owners that let out their home infrequently.

Secretary of State for Levelling Up Housing and Communities, Michael Gove said, ‘Short-term lets can play an important role in the UK’s flourishing tourism economy, providing great, easily accessible accommodation in some of the most beautiful parts of our country. But in some areas, too many local families and young people feel they are being shut out of the housing market and denied the opportunity to rent or buy in their own community.

So the government is taking action as part of its long-term plan for housing. That means delivering more of the right homes in the right places, and giving communities the power to decide.This will allow local communities to take back control and strike the right balance between protecting the visitor economy and ensuring local people get the homes they need’.

Tourism Minister Julia Lopez said, ‘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.

Amanda Cupples, General Manager for Northern Europe, Airbnb said, ‘The introduction of a short-term lets register is good news for everyone. Families who Host on Airbnb will benefit from clear rules that support their activity, and local authorities will get access to the information they need to assess and manage housing impacts and keep communities healthy, where necessary. We have long led calls for the introduction of a Host register and we look forward to working together to make it a success.

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 changes are part of the government’s long-term plan for housing, unlocking more of the homes this country needs and meeting the target to deliver one million homes this Parliament, backed by £10 billion investment.

The government 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 of these measures will be set out in the government’s response to the consultations, including the timeline for implementation of the register, the use class and the individual permitted development rights – with the changes being introduced from this summer.’

Alistair Handyside MBE, Executive Chair of the Professional Association of Self Caterers UK (PASC UK), said, ‘We welcome the introduction of a registration scheme for short term lets in England. This is widely supported by accommodation providers and will finally provide real data on our sector. This is a first and important step to creating a level playing field for operators and we look forward to working with the government on the detail of the introduction of the register.’

Source – GOV.UK


Gove promised ‘a fairer private rented sector’ how is he doing?

Nearly two years ago, in the forward to a government whitepaper Michael Gove Housing and Levelling-Up Secretary made the following commitment set out below. With probably nine months until the next General election and a change of government, what if anything has he delivered?

Zara my dog thinks Gove has not executed anything substantive, and as usual the ‘big thinker’ Gove has been parachuted into a prime department, where he then looks out the window of his lovely new office and dreams of being the prime minister rather than sorting his in-tray. Have a read and make your own mind up.

Michael Gove, writing in June 2022, source GOV.UK, ‘Everyone has a right to a decent home. No one should be condemned to live in properties that are inadequately heated, unsafe, or unhealthy. Yet more than 2.8 million of our fellow citizens are paying to live in homes that are not fit for the 21st century. Tackling this is critical to our mission to level up the country.

The reality today is that far too many renters are living in damp, dangerous, cold homes, powerless to put things right, and with the threat of sudden eviction hanging over them. They’re often frightened to raise a complaint. If they do, there is no guarantee that they won’t be penalised for it, that their rent won’t shoot up as a result, or that they won’t be hit with a Section 21 notice asking them to leave.

This government is determined to tackle these injustices by offering a New Deal to those living in the Private Rented Sector; one with quality, affordability, and fairness at its heart. In our Levelling Up White Paper – published earlier this year – we set out a clear mission to halve the number of poor-quality homes by 2030.

We committed to levelling up quality across the board in the Private Rented Sector and especially in those parts of the country with the highest proportion of poor, sub-standard housing – Yorkshire and the Humber, the West Midlands, and the North West. This White Paper – A Fairer Private Rented Sector – sets out how we intend to deliver on this mission, raising the bar on quality and making this New Deal a reality for renters everywhere.

It underlines our commitment, through the Renters Reform Bill, to ensure all private landlords adhere to a legally binding standard on decency. The Bill also fulfils our manifesto commitment to replace Section 21 ‘no fault’ eviction notices with a modern tenancy system that gives renters peace of mind so they can confidently settle down and make their house a home.

These changes will be backed by a powerful new Ombudsman so that disputes between tenants and landlords can be settled quickly and cheaply, without going to court. This white paper also outlines a host of additional reforms to empower tenants so they can make informed choices, raise concerns and challenge unfair rent hikes without fear of repercussion.

Of course, we also want to support the vast majority of responsible landlords who provide quality homes to their tenants. That is one of the reasons why this White Paper sets out our commitment to strengthen the grounds for possession where there is good reason for the landlord to take the property back.

Together, these reforms will help to ease the financial burden on renters, reducing moving costs and emergency repair bills. It will reset the tenant-landlord relationship by making sure that complaints are acted upon and resolved quickly. Most importantly, however, the reforms set out in this White Paper fulfil this government’s pledge to level up the quality of housing in all parts of the country so that everyone can live somewhere which is decent, safe and secure – a place they’re truly proud to call home.’

 

If you have a view – please let us all know by emailing me at editor@estateagentnetworking.co.uk – Andrew Stanton Executive Editor – moving property and proptech forward. PropTech-X

Andrew Stanton

CEO & Founder Proptech-PR. Proptech Real Estate Influencer, Executive Editor of Estate Agent Networking. Leading PR consultancy in Proptech & Real Estate. Want to contact me directly regarding one of my articles or maybe you'd like a chat about future articles? Email me via editor@stagingsite.estateagentnetworking.co.uk

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