Following a considered campaign on ‘airbnbs’, formerly known as Short Term Holiday Lets, and the introduction of a Bill to Parliament by Rachael Maskell MP, Government have announced two consultations on Short Term Holiday Lets.
The MP for York Central introduced a Private Members Bill to Parliament last year in light of the impact that this was having on York. The Bill set out to license Short Term Holiday Lets and empower Local Authorities to introduce controls and inspections. The Bill received its Second Reading in December 2022.
Parallel to this, Rachael Maskell spent 6 months on the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill Committee making the case for controlling Short Term Holiday Lets and to ensure that we can curb the impact of them in York. She also held meetings with Ministers, including the Secretary of State, Michael Gove, to discuss the challenges that York experiences, and how this should be managed.
The first consultation seeks to use the planning system to allow for Short Term Holiday Lets whereby planning permission will be required for a change of ‘use class’ which could slow down the growth of ‘airbnbs’. There is also a question whereby control zones could be introduced which could create areas where Short Term Holiday Lets are disallowed. A new ‘use class’ opens up opportunities for a new Council Tax band too.
The second consultation seeks to enable local authorities to have a registration scheme whereby ‘airbnb’ owners would have to provide data to operate, including safety certification, certain conditions that have to be applied and a fee paid. Government have also adopted an option for fines to be paid or registration removed if conditions are breached.
Rachael Maskell MP says:
“I was determined to see the law change over Short Term Holiday Lets and these two Government consultations are the next step of the journey. Between the two consultations, my Bill has been adopted, and over the coming days I will study the detail. I will be engaging with residents across my constituency to ensure that they can provide the fullest possible response to this consultation and will hold public engagement events so that residents can really engage with the content of the consultation.
“This is a really important step for York, and it goes to show what an MP can achieve when they listen to their communities and fight hard in Parliament on their behalf. We still have a long way to go to see the consultation turn into law, but I am pleased that residents in York have been heard and my work has paid off.”
The consultation in change of use class can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/introduction-of-a-use-class-for-short-term-lets-and-associated-permitted-development-rights/introduction-of-a-use-class-for-short-term-lets-and-associated-permitted-development-rights
The consultation on a registration scheme can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/consultation-on-a-registration-scheme-for-short-term-lets-in-england/consultation-on-a-registration-scheme-for-short-term-lets-in-england
Residents will need to respond by close of 6 June 2023.
Rachael Maskell will be announcing public engagement events in the near future.
The link to Rachael Maskell’s Bill is: https://bills.parliament.uk/bills/3220