New Measures Allow Londoners To Conduct Short Term Letting
Of Homes For Extra Cash
The UK Government have announced that they are set to introduce new measures that will bring to an end outdated rules from the 1970’s that prevented home owners in London from renting out their properties on a short-term basis to visitors.
Communities and Local Government (CLG), Secretary Eric Pickles said that there were almost 5 million overseas visitors to the capital between July and September 2013, and thousands of properties were advertised as being available as holiday lets on travel accommodation websites such as Airbnb.
However, under laws dating back to the 1970’s, Londoners who want to rent out their properties for less than 3 months, technically still have to apply for planning permission from the council, which does not apply anywhere else in the UK.These provisions caused controversy during the London Olympics in 2012, and are irregularly enforced by different London boroughs leading to a lot of confusion for residents.
MP’s now want to change the archaic permission system through an amendment to the Deregulation Bill, which will allow London property owners the freedom to rent out their properties on a temporary basis, such as when they are away on holiday, without having to deal with unnecessary bureaucracy and red tape of applying for a council permit.
The amendment will not allow residential properties to be turned into hotels or hostels because this would require planning permission for change of use, and the Government have promised that measures will be put in place to prevent abuse of any reform, to prevent the permanent loss of residential accommodation.
The reform will benefit London’s tourism industry by expanding the pool of competitively priced accommodation available to visitors and allow property owners to earn extra cash when their properties would otherwise be empty.
The sought after amendment follows measures introduced in 2013 that made it easier for residents to rent out unused parking spaces to earn extra money, helping to expand parking options for commuters and visitors.
CLG Secretary, Eric Pickles, said: “The internet is changing the way we work and live, and the law needs to catch up. We have already reformed the rules on renting out unused parking spaces, now we want to do the same regarding renting out private homes for a short period. It’s time to change the outdated, impractical and restrictive laws from the 1970s, open up London’s homes to visitors and allow Londoners to make some extra cash.
The provisions are set out under section 25 of the Greater London Council (General Powers) Act 1973, and only apply to London.
Following a short period of consultation, MP’s intend to amend rules to allow home owners more freedom while retaining protection to ensure homes built for Londoners are not just used for short term letting.
The new measures are set to be introduced through an amendment to the Deregulation Bill.
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