Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Given the current situation with COVID-19, we are encouraging people who previously rented their properties out as short term lets to convert to an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST). This will ensure that there are tenants in it and is not vacant. As we don't know how long the situation is going to last, this could be useful both for you and the Council.

In housing the biggest problem for local authorities is an increased demand for, but reduced supply of, self-contained accommodation for homeless people and families. Rough sleepers are at particular risk at this time. The situation is making it extremely difficult for councils to provide suitable accommodation for all people who already are, or are becoming, homeless at this difficult time. This risks undermining the national focus on preventing the spread of the virus.

At the same time providers of short-term lets are being hit hard by reduced bookings and having to meet the needs of guests impacted by the emergency.

Camden Council is looking for immediate additional supply of Assured Shorthold Tenancies. This is usually for a minimum fixed term period of 12 months but potentially for a minimum of 6 months at this time. The rent must usually be no higher than the LHA limit,  but Camden may give the provider an incentive cash payment. Camden provides a lot of support to the households that we place in this accommodation.

We would encourage you to consider flipping to Assured Shorthold Tenancies at this time to maintain cash-flow and support our response to this crisis.

If you want to take this opportunity to work with Camden Council to increase the supply of accommodation for homeless households, please email Camden’s Private Rented Sector Procurement Manager joyce.amoateng@camden.gov.uk or call Joyce on 0207 974 3023.

What is a short term/holiday let?

Short term lettings are defined as periods of less than 90 days.

Do I need planning permission?

In London, you do not need to apply for planning permission to use an entire flat or house as a short term/ holiday let if:

  • you pay the Council Tax for the property;
  • each individual short term let is no more than 90 days; and
  • the total number of holiday let days over the calendar year is no more than 90 days.

You do need to apply for full planning permission to convert a flat or house into a short term/ holiday let if:

  • the total number of short term/holiday let days will be more than 90 days in a calendar year.

You do not need planning permission to let your property on leases over 90 days in length, or if you let a room within your property whilst you are still living there on a permanent basis.

We advise you to check whether there are any restrictions in your leases, tenancies, insurance or type of mortgage that would prevent you letting out your property to somebody else.  All tenants should speak to their landlord before letting anyone stay in their home.  Council tenants are not permitted to let the whole of a Council rented property.

Am I likely to get planning permission to convert a house or flat to a short term/holiday let?

Short term letting can disturb neighbours, with visitors creating noise, sometimes at unsociable hours.  High turnover of visitors/renters can also impact upon permanent occupiers reducing the sense of community and raising the fear of crime.  The short term letting of residential properties also reduces the permanent housing stock.

Current planning policy in the Camden Local Plan is to resist development that changes permanent housing to short stay accommodation/holiday lets. This means applications for whole residential properties, including single-dwelling houses and flats, to be converted to short term/ holiday lettings are likely to be refused.

If these new regulations are not followed, then this will be considered an unauthorised change of use for which planning permission will be required.  The Council will take appropriate enforcement action, which can include serving an Enforcement Notice to stop the use.

If you suspect a property is being used for short term/holiday letting outside of the new regulations, you can report it to us

How do I apply?

You can apply via the national planning portal. To find out what information is required with your application, see making a planning application.

Still not sure whether you need planning permission?

If you need further advice about whether you need planning permission, contact planning advice and information.