Planning Classes in the UK for Short-Term Lets

short term let property classes UKPlanning Classes in the UK for Short-Term Lets

In recent years, the popularity of short-term lets has surged, with platforms like Airbnb offering travelers unique and flexible accommodation options. For property owners looking to capitalise on this trend, planning classes in the UK play a crucial role.

Understanding the regulations and requirements is essential to ensure compliance. In this post, we’ll overview the planning classes for short-term lets in the UK, offering valuable insights for property owners and investors.

Understanding Planning Classes

In the UK, planning classes determine the primary use of a property and govern its permissible activities, all pretty normal for commercial properties. The classification system is outlined in the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987 (as amended). Properties designated for residential use fall under Class C3, while short-term lets often fall into a grey area, encompassing various classifications depending on factors such as frequency of rental and primary use. Clear? Exactly, the new planning classes aim to make things clearer, if not easier.

Permitted Development Rights

Permitted Development Rights (PDR) allow certain changes to a property without the need for planning permission. While some short-term lets may fall under permitted development, it’s crucial to review the specific regulations applicable to your property’s location.

Changes in legislation and local authority guidelines can impact PDR eligibility, emphasising the importance of staying informed and seeking professional advice when necessary. If you are looking at using an existing property for short term let speak to your legal advisor first. Mortgage companies do check whether their properties are listed for short term lets when they haven’t agreed to lend for that purpose.

Change of Use

Converting a property for short-term letting may require a change of use application, especially if it involves a significant departure from its current classification. Class C3 properties (dwellinghouses) typically don’t cover short-term lets, necessitating a change to a commercial use class.

This process involves submitting an application to the local planning authority, demonstrating how the proposed use aligns with planning policies and considerations such as traffic, noise, and community impact. This is the big change given there is no longer an automatic ability to let on a short term basis.

Planning Considerations

When planning classes for short-term lets, several factors come into play:

  1. Local Planning Policies: Each local authority may have its own planning policies regarding short-term lets, considering factors such as housing supply, community impact, and tourism management.
  2. Neighbourhood Impact: Assessing the potential impact on the local community is crucial. Issues like noise, parking, and transient populations may arise, requiring mitigation measures to address concerns and ensure harmonious coexistence.
  3. Sustainability: Sustainable tourism practices are increasingly prioritised in planning decisions. Embracing eco-friendly initiatives and minimising environmental impact can enhance the viability of short-term let projects and foster positive community relations.
  4. Building Regulations: Compliance with building regulations is essential to ensure the safety and structural integrity of the property. Factors such as fire safety, accessibility, and amenity provision must be addressed to meet regulatory standards.

Consulting with Professionals

Navigating the complexities of planning classes for short-term lets requires expertise and guidance. Consulting with planning consultants, architects, and legal professionals specialising in property matters can provide invaluable support throughout the process.

Their insights and experience can help streamline applications, address regulatory requirements, and maximise the potential of your short-term let. The input of these professionals can make it far easier to overcome questions raised by lenders, here’s an example of that.


Planning classes in the UK for short-term lets demand careful consideration of regulatory frameworks, local policies, and community dynamics.

By understanding the nuances of planning classifications, adhering to relevant regulations, and seeking professional advice, property owners can embark on successful short-term let projects that contribute positively to the tourism landscape while respecting the interests of local communities and meeting the demands of mortgage lenders.

Any questions with financing a short term let property then get in touch.

By Dave Farmer