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New rules proposed to curb growth of short-term rentals like those on Airbnb

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Planning permission will be required to rent out a property for more than 90 nights, under new laws introduced by the government to crack down on short-term holiday rentals.

Future short-term rentals, of the type popularized by Airbnbwill be subject to local authority approval, which the government hopes will give residents more of a say in their area and allow greater control of the rental housing stock.

Local authorities will also be empowered to withdraw permission to rent a property for short periods to different people, usually on holiday, on the recommendation of the Department of Upgrading, Housing and Communities.

The proposals also include the creation of a national short-term rental list, maintained by each council.

Only homes rented for more than 90 nights per year will be considered short-term rentals and fall within the scope of the new laws.

No specific timetable has been published for implementation, but the government has said changes will be introduced from this summer.

Further details will be published with the government’s responses to consultations on the new regulatory regime, the department said.

The regulations are being developed to address concerns that homes in tourist hotspots are being used to house visitors rather than being available for long-term rental to area residents.

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Airbnb’s short-term rental boom puts pressure on housing

Lucrative short-term rentals and a decrease in the number of properties available for rent have been behind the rent increases seen nationally.

Upgrade Secretary Michael Gové said: “We know that short-term lets can be good for the tourism economy, but we are now giving councils the tools to master them so that local people can also rent these homes.

“These changes strike a balance between providing local people with access to more affordable housing, while ensuring the tourism economy continues to thrive.”

Learn more:
Hotels “up to 85% cheaper than Airbnbs for single travelers”
Airbnb guests invited to spend the night in Shrek’s Swamp – for free

Airbnb and the Professional Association of Self Caterers UK welcomed the announcement.

“The introduction of a short-term rental registration system is good news for everyone,” Airbnb said.

“Families hosting on Airbnb will benefit from clear rules that support their business, and local authorities will have access to the information they need to assess and manage housing impacts and keep communities healthy, where necessary.”

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