Short-term holiday lets

A short-term let is a property or room that is rented out for a short period of time. This usually covers a period between one night to a few weeks. In a short-term let, the visitors are not using the property as their main or permanent house. Short term-lets are advertised on websites such as Airbnb, HomeAway and other holiday letting platforms.

Short-term lets provide more accommodation choice for visitors to the city.

Problems with short-term lets

Short-term letting residential properties means that there are fewer options for people who need permanent housing. This can contribute to homelessness. It can also add pressure on parking in the area. Depending on the location and size of the property, short-term lets can also disturb neighbours when users are noisy late at night.

Planning permission

You might need planning permission to use a living space for a short-term holiday let. The need for planning permission will depend on how much the use of the property changes as a result of being available for short-term holidays.

We advise you to take legal advice to find out if you need planning permission. However, you can apply for a Certificate of Lawful Use (Proposed Development) to ask us for a legally binding decision about whether you need planning permission.

Houses in Multiple Occupation

Private sector housing licensing cannot be applied to short-term holiday lets. The Housing Act 2004 sets the framework for licensing Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO). To be covered under an HMO licensing scheme the property must be the occupiers’ only or main residence. Therefore ‘party houses’ and short-term holiday lets do not come under the licensing provision.

Fire Safety Regulations

East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service have met with many short-term holiday-let providers in Brighton and Hove to explain their jurisdictions under the Regulatory (Fire Safety) Order 2005. All premises must have a fire risk assessment completed. If the fire risk assessment finds anything that needs to be changed to make sure the property is safe, then that has to be fixed within a suitable time frame. If they judge that the property is unsafe for people to sleep in, then they can serve a prohibition notice.

Reporting concerns about short-term lets

If you're worried about noise from a short-term holiday let please visit our noise, pollution and air quality page

If you're worried about an unauthorised change to land or a building for use as a short-term let, please visit our planning enforcement page. If you submit a complaint we will ask you to fill in a diary, to provide information on the changes that you see and how damaging they are.