What are the Short-letting Rules and Regulations in Place Across the UK?

    In response to the increasing popularity of Airbnb and holiday homes up and down the country, new rules and regulations have been introduced to limit the number of short-let properties and restrict the number of hosting days per year. This allows...

    by Pass the Keys


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    Holiday Let Management




    St Agnes




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    North Somerset




    20 Sep 2023

    In response to the increasing popularity of Airbnb and holiday homes up and down the country, new rules and regulations have been introduced to limit the number of short-let properties and restrict the number of hosting days per year. This allows the short-letting market to remain sustainable and responsible, and ensure their contribution to local communities remains beneficial.

    However, these regulations are often at the discretion of local government, so what exactly are the short-letting rules in your area? Find out more below:

    Please note, the information set out above is a guide. Check with a legal expert or local authority to learn more about regulations, restrictions, and obligations in your local area.




    Tighter Airbnb regulations in London were introduced back in 2017 when Airbnb’s systems began automatically limiting entire home listings in Greater London to 90 nights per calendar year. That is unless you certify that you have the relevant permissions which allow you to share your home beyond this. Once you receive 90 nights of bookings for the current calendar year, the system will automatically limit your listing from being booked for dates in the rest of the calendar year. Guests will not be able to book your listing unless their booking dates fall within the next year. To find out more, please visit Airbnb help centre.

    Outside of London:

    Outside of the capital, the rules are somewhat more relaxed. All holiday home properties are classified as Furnished Holiday Lets (FHLs) to distinguish them from longer-term rental properties. To classify as an FHL, the host must let the property for at least 105 days a year, with the property available to rent for at least 210 days a year. A single guest stay must not exceed 31 continuous days and the property must be fully furnished and ready for guest use. You must also prove you have the intention of making a profit by promoting and letting your property commercially. To find out more about FHLs, please visit HS253 Furnished holiday lettings (2021) - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)



    New tax regulations have been introduced to Welsh holiday let owners in response to increased purchased properties believed to be used for holiday let businesses. As of 1st April 2023, the criteria for a holiday let property to qualify for business rates has been changed. Welsh holiday homes need to be available for 252 days a year and occupied for at least 182 days a year by paying guests in order to qualify for business rates. If the property doesn’t meet this criterion, the owner will be charged council tax. Please note, as of 1st April 2023, council tax rates for holiday lets have increased, the exact increase is at the discretion of the local council but could be up to 300%. To find out more about the new tax rules, please visit New tax rules for second homes | GOV.WALES 


    Northern Ireland

    The Tourism Order 1992 prohibits anyone from providing or offering to provide tourist accommodation as a business without a valid certificate issued by Tourism NI for the property in question. All short-letting hosts are therefore required by law to hold a valid certificate before hosting. Licenses are valid for four years, and a legal inspection of the premises by Tourism NI is conducted every four years. To find out more, please visit Accommodation Sector | Tourism Northern Ireland (tourismni.com)



    Recently, the Short-Term Accommodation Licence Law change came into effect which made holding a license a legal requirement for hosts to operate on the short-let market. Existing Scottish holiday let owners have until 1st July 2024 to get their license. Your license is valid for 3 years, and after this date, its lifespan will likely be extended. If you have multiple properties, you will need a license for each individual property. Please note, this license is only valid to the current holiday homeowner. If you sell your property, the new owner will be required to order a new short-term accommodation license. The process can be lengthy and take anywhere between six to twelve months to arrive, so it’s advisable to apply for your new license two years after receiving your original license. To find out more, please visit Legal requirements for a short-term let licence - mygov.scot.


    Interested in finding a one-stop-shop solution to maximise the potential of your holiday let property? Pass the Keys can help you maximise your rental income and provide a superior guest experience.

    Get in touch with us to find out more about our services. Visit us at www.passthekeys.com.

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