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Say goodbye to Airbnb? New government measures could stop holiday rentals in their tracks

The UK government is taking a strong stance against nuisance holiday rentals and the displacement of locals from their communities by requiring Airbnb hosts to obtain planning permission before turning their properties into short-term lets.

Secretary Michael Gove has proposed this measure to prevent individuals from buying second homes solely for short-term rentals.

Local authorities would have the option to opt-out, but councils in tourist hot spots, such as Whitby and Cornwall, are expected to adopt the measure to protect residents.

The introduction of planning permission for an existing home to be used as an Airbnb or other short-term let is part of a consultation published by Mr. Gove. It does not apply retrospectively, meaning only hosts looking to enter the holiday let market would be affected, although ministers have not ruled out a future crackdown on all properties.


Will this curb AirBnB's record success?

The number of holiday lets has skyrocketed since 2019, with listings in beauty spots such as the Lake District more than doubling.

According to The Times, of the 30 neighborhoods with the highest density of holiday rentals, 17 were in areas of outstanding natural beauty.

The government aims to help areas get the balance right and ensure that more people have access to local homes at affordable prices and prioritize families desperate to rent or buy a home of their own close to where they work.

The Department for Culture has proposed a new registration scheme for such properties so that ministers can get a full database of existing Airbnbs.

Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer said that the government wants to help areas get the balance right, but it should not come at the expense of local people being able to own their own home and stay local.

The consultation on a national registration scheme will provide the data necessary to assess the situation and enable the government to address community concerns.

These changes will target Airbnbs, not hotels, hostels, or B&Bs.