Typical London UK town house

London housing concerns shared

London Councils has confirmed that it has written to the government outlining concerns over plans to regulate short-term and holiday-let homes.

This letter comes with a warning that the capital’s housing crisis could be exacerbated by shortcomings in the government’s plans to create a new planning ‘use class’ for properties that are being used as short-term lets.

By transferring short-term lets into a new planning category, boroughs across London are concerned that thousands of homes could be lost from the city’s permanent housing stock overnight. According to London Councils there are at least 43,000 short-term lets around the city, with this being the equivalent of one in every 85 homes – and a significant portion of these are understood to fit into the new planning category.

The cross-party group has, however, welcomed some aspects of the new government action on short-term lets, especially as it will introduced much needed regulation and oversight to the sector. Examples of the positive action that the government is taking includes the mandatory national register of properties, and continued planning permission requirements for short-term lets in the future.

London councils letter to Michael Gove

Executive Member for Regeneration, Housing and Planning at London Councils, Cllr Darren Rodwell, commented:

“For too many years the short-term lets market has been growing out of control.

“With housing and homelessness pressures in the capital worse than ever, boroughs are extremely concerned about losing permanent housing stock. The priority has to be ensuring homes are available for long-term residents.

“We welcome the government’s move to improve regulation of the sector, but the blanket reclassification of existing short-term lets into a new use class could strip the capital of  thousands of homes.

“Boroughs are keen to work with ministers on developing these proposals further and ensuring London is better placed to tackle this challenge.”


Image credit: iStock and @londoncouncils on X.com


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