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Article > Fly in Olympic Ointment for Londoners

Article kindly provided by Julie Ford

Hemel Landlord Property Network
07904 288188

As the Olympics draws ever closer, more and more homeowners are rubbing their hands together in anticipation of the money they can potentially make from renting out all or part of their home to foreign tourists visiting for the Olympic games.

There is a plethora of websites popping up specifically designed to help homeowners make a killing during the month the event is on and many established agents offering a variety of deals to cash in on the golden egg for London’s property owners

Equally, lettings agents adverts have begun the transition to incorporate the short term letting and high earning potential that London Olympics presents to us. But is this a false hope? Is the publicised earning potential lulling homeowners in to a false sense of financial security in this economic down turn.

Homeowners and agents alike in the London area need to be very careful when considering renting out their property for the momentous occasion, for there is a little known law that may see many looking to cash in on the rental potential the Olympics brings, facing huge fines of £20k and a criminal record if they do not get planning permission to let during the Olympics.

This little known fly in the ointment is Greater London Council (General Powers) Act 1973 provides (as amended by s.4 of the Greater London Council (General Powers) Act 1983) which stipulates that a private residence can not be rented out in for a period of 90 days or less, unless planning permission is sort for the change of use from permanent to temporary.

The Act states “(1) For the purposes of s.22(1) of the Act of 1971, the use as temporary sleeping accommodation of any residential premises in Greater London involves a material change of use of the premises and of each part thereof which is so used.

(2) In this section -
(a) “use as temporary sleeping accommodation” means use as sleeping accommodation which is occupied by the same person for less than 90 consecutive nights and which is provided (with or without other services) for a consideration arising either -
(i) by way of trade for money or money’s worth; or
(ii) by reason of the employment of the occupant, whether or not the relationship of landlord and tenant is thereby created;
(b) “residential premises” means a building, or any part of a building, which was previously used, or was designed or constructed for use, as one or more permanent residences “.
By virtue of the Interpretation Act 1978, the reference to s.22(1) of the 1971 Act now relates to s.55(1) of the 1990 Act.

So far Tower Hamlets, Islington, Southwark, Kensington and Chelsea, Camden and Westminster have all warned that they will be policing this very tightly and will issue enforcement notices to anyone found to be renting their property out during the Olympics for 90 days or less, who have not applied and received the required planning permission.

If homeowners are not aware of this law, or place their property with an agent who is not up to speed on this legislation it could cause untold financial heartache for homeowners and agents alike




About the Author

Julie Ford runs the Hemel Landlord & Property Network

The network is predominately designed for landlords and property investors, we offer advice and guidance on all aspects of buying, selling, renting and managing your property, whether you are a 1st time landlord or a seasoned investor The Hemel Property Network has all the tools you need to help you make the most of your investment.

We meet Last Thursday of the Month, at 19:00 and encourage our guests to arrive early so that you can get to know your fellow property networkers.



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