Winckworth Sherwood

UK 200 2013 position: 94

Relaxation of short-term rent laws in London and PRS

In recent years, a number of developers and private landlords have become unstuck by a little-known legal provision set out in section 25 of the Greater London Council (General Powers) Act 1973 (the 1973 Act) that applies to residential dwellings (in use class C3) in London only.

The effect of this provision is that where a dwelling is used as temporary sleeping accommodation (i.e. used by the same person for less than 90 consecutive nights) this will be regarded as a material change in use of that dwelling and will constitute ‘development’ for the purposes of section 55 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.

In such circumstances, there is deemed to be a breach of planning control, namely a material change of use requiring the grant of planning permission. No offence is committed, but like all breaches of planning control, the breach opens the possibility of enforcement action by the local planning authority if they considered such action expedient…

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