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Short-term lets

Find out about the rules and regulation governing short-term (or nightly) letting.

Published on: 17 December 2020

Last updated: 5 August 2022

The law

Homeowners can let their home on a short-term basis for up to 90 nights in a calendar year (1 January to 31 December) without applying for planning permission.

General rules

If you let your home for more than 90 nights, you must apply for planning permission. Failure to do so may result in us taking enforcement action.

You are only able to let out your home and ‘host’ if:

  • you are the property owner or tenant and eligible to pay the council tax
  • you are a leaseholder whose lease does not expressly forbid subletting
  • you are the managing agent acting on behalf of the property owner who pays the council tax (the responsibility remains that of the property owner.)
  • you are not the council taxpayer but have been granted planning permission to let the property

You may also need to notify or request permission from the following:

  • your insurer
  • your freeholder if you are a leaseholder
  • your mortgage provider if you hold a mortgage
  • your landlord if you are a tenant.

Health and safety (including fire safety)

Ensuring the safety of your guests is extremely important. By law, you must undertake a risk assessment to identify any hazards that may lead to potential accidents, such as falls and electric shocks, and take measures to reduce those risks. You should consider that some guests, such as young children, may be especially vulnerable.

Your risk assessment should include a fire safety check. For guidance on fire safety regulations please see Fire safety: guidance for the hospitality industry.

It is a good idea to keep a written record of this risk assessment. Failure to comply with these standards could invalidate your landlord’s insurance cover.

Key health and safety considerations:

  • electrical safety - you have a duty of care to ensure electrics and appliances within the property are safe - the electrical installation should be tested by a registered electrician if no inspection has been undertaken in the last five years
  • gas safety - there must be a valid gas safety certificate issued in the last 12 months to ensure all heating and cooking appliances are safe
  • carbon monoxide - a carbon monoxide alarm should be provided (consider that adjoining properties may pose a risk)
  • fire - you must have fire safety measures, such as smoke alarms, and you should carry out a fire safety risk assessment to ensure hazards are identified, controlled and reviewed (the common parts of a communal building are subject to the Fire Safety (regulatory reform) Order 2005 - this means the person responsible for the building must undertake a competent risk assessment and act on it accordingly - breach of fire and safety regulations puts guests and neighbours at risk of serious injury or death and can result in a conviction with an unlimited fine
  • furnishings - furnishings must have a permanently attached label to comply with The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire Safety) Regulations
  • security - locks to doors and windows should provide an appropriate level of security - exit doors and escape windows should allow keyless exit in the event of a fire

Anti-social behaviour

If you let your house, you are responsible for ensuring your guests’ behaviour does not negatively affect your neighbours.

If your guests behave unreasonably, we can take enforcement action against you. We may issue a Community Protection Notice, which will tell you what reasonable steps you need to take to ensure anti-social behaviour does not happen again. Breaching this notice is a criminal offence and may carry a fine of up to £20,000 for businesses or £2,500 for individuals.

If the anti-social behaviour persists, we can involve the police and can consider serving a Closure Order, restricting all access to the property for up to six months.

Environmental protection (waste)

Residents must dispose of their waste responsibly, using bin chambers, on-street collections or black bins across the City. Putting out waste at the incorrect time or location can incur fines.


If your property causes a persistent noise nuisance, we may, under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, serve a noise abatement notice, seize equipment and prosecute.


The money you earn from hosting is income and subject to tax. Depending on the amount you earn from hosting, you may need to declare it to HM Revenue and Customs. You can find details on the tax incentives and how to correctly account for tax online.