When do (and don't) holiday lets fall within use class C3?

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    When do (and don't) holiday lets fall within use class C3?

    Hello all! I'm thinking of running a holiday let (in England) and was wondering about planning issues.

    It might be easiest to split my question into two parts:

    Holiday lets sleeping up to six people:
    My understanding is that holiday lets sleeping up to six people will always fall into use class C3(c) ("not more than six residents living together as a single household where no care is provided to residents (other than a use within Class C4)), provided that the groups staying in them and the manner of occupation falls into the Barnes v Sheffield City Council (1995) 27 HLR 719 definition of a "household" (which is a far broader definition than that which is relevant to HMOs in s.258 of the Housing Act 2004). Such properties can't fall into C4 as that'd require the property to be their main residence.

    This essentially means that any holiday let sleeping up to six people (whether they are a family, a group of friends, colleagues travelling together for work, or whatever!) will always fall within use class C3, provided that it complies with Barnes v Sheffield City Council. Is this correct?

    Holiday lets sleeping seven or more people:
    My understanding is that a holiday let sleeping seven or more people can only fall into C3 use class if the groups which book it are within C3(a) ("people to be regarded as forming a single household"), with the relevant definition of "household" this time being the s.258 of the Housing Act 2004 (i.e. a single family).

    Is that correct? If so, does that mean that in order to allow a group of 7+ friends (or, for that matter, two families which are friends with each other and number 7+ people in total) to stay in a holiday let, I would need to make a planning permission for sui generis use class status?

    Incidentally, I have seen a number of AirBnB adverts for holiday lets sleeping groups of 7+ (not restricted to single families) in the area in which I am thinking of running a holiday let, but I can't find planning applications for sui generis status for any of them! Am I to assume that the are simply being let in breach of their use class?

    #2
    I would suggest none of the above. I would think they were C1.

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by leaseholder64 View Post
      I would suggest none of the above. I would think they were C1.
      I've seen some authoritative-seeming blogposts which explain they usually fall within C3, including the following:
      http://planninglawblog.blogspot.com/...ge-of-use.html
      https://www.thesapodcast.com/03-planning-use-class/ (This one specifically deals with the C1 point).

      However, are you suggesting that a holiday let sleeping 7+ friends it would be best to apply for C1 use class rather than sui generis?

      Comment


        #4
        I would apply for sui generis and let the planners advise you. SG covers lots of things depending on the local authority.



        Freedom at the point of zero............

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Interlaken View Post
          I would apply for sui generis and let the planners advise you. SG covers lots of things depending on the local authority.
          Based on the relevant council's attitude to and adopted policies on such matters, if I applied for sui generis (or C1 for that matter) for a holiday let I am 99% sure they'd refuse. That is why I am trying to make sure I understand the limits of what I can do while remaining within C3 use class.

          Comment


            #6
            When we developed 3 holiday let flats a few years ago we applied for a change of use from a single dwelling to 3 with full residential use as we were unsure at the time whether we would actually holiday let or sell on the open market. This was approved without comment.

            When they were all complete and we had decided upon holiday letting, the local council rated them for business use and we paid business rates based on the number of beds. We never applied for business use it was just applied by the council. I assume they were C3?

            Having now sold the flats to 3 separate buyers I have wondered whether the council changed them to council tax because if they remained under business rates they would not be paying rates due to each owner's small business relief, whereas if council tax was applied then tax would be paid per flat. Maybe the local council's loss!

            Comment


              #7
              In the event that a council planning department would be concerned about how many people were occupying a holiday let, all that will happen is that you will receive a visit or a letter from an enforcement officer telling you that this is considered to be a breach of planning control and what you are required to do to stop any such breach.

              If that is ignored then a formal enforcement notice can be served if this is considered to be a serious enough breach of planning control, although the fact that there are properties being let out to holiday makers does seem indicative that this is not something that the planning department will be particularly bothered about because visitors bring revenue to the district covered by the local planning authority in question.

              It would seem to be the case that each time a group of 6 people occupy the dwelling, which is treated as Use Class C3, there is no breach of planning control, but if 7 people occupy the dwelling who are not all part of the same family, then the obvious response to any enquiry is that they were part of a group who fall under the temporary category defined in section C3(a)

              a) A single person or by
              people to be regarded as forming a single household;

              Each group of holidaymakers will be people REGARDED as forming a single household for the duration of each letting, which is allowed for in that definition.

              Who does the "regarding" is not defined at all, so if the Landlord "regards" that to be the situation how can the local planning authority's enforcement officer consider otherwise?

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by pilman View Post
                a) A single person or by
                people to be regarded as forming a single household;

                Each group of holidaymakers will be people REGARDED as forming a single household for the duration of each letting, which is allowed for in that definition.

                Who does the "regarding" is not defined at all, so if the Landlord "regards" that to be the situation how can the local planning authority's enforcement officer consider otherwise?
                I'm afraid that I think the latest definition of C3 use class does in fact deal with this:

                Interpretation of Class C3
                For the purposes of Class C3(a) “single household” shall be construed in accordance with section 258 of the Housing Act 2004.
                And section 258 of the Housing Act 2004 definition requires a "household" to be a single family (i.e. not a group of friends).

                This means that there appears to be a rather odd situation whereby the relevant definition of "household" for C3(a) use class is the narrow one contained in section 258 of the Housing Act 2004 , whereas for C3(b) or C3(c) it is the much broader one laid down in Barnes v Sheffield City Council.

                As such, I cannot see any way of running a holiday let sleeping 7+ people within C3 use class unless all the occupants do form a single family (aside, of course, from simply being in breach and hoping the local authority doesn't enforce, as I imagine most people do!).

                Comment


                  #9
                  "(5)Regulations under subsection (2)(b) may, in particular, secure that a group of persons are to be regarded as forming a single household only where (as the regulations may require) each member of the group has a prescribed relationship, or at least one of a number of prescribed relationships, to any one or more of the others."
                  does this mean a group of persons can form a single household if each member of the group is related to only one of the other members ? ie 4 couples is OK but no singles ?

                  Comment

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