Airbnb use not residential!!17-03-2019, 09:16
Interesting planning case for anyone renting out a property on airbnb:
Use of flats as short-term visitor accommodation was a material change of use (Planning Inspectorate)
The appeal concerned two residential apartment blocks in Cambridge. In January 2018, the council issued enforcement notices alleging that 13 of the 19 flats (use class C3) across the two blocks were being used as short-term visitor accommodation (sui generis).
Initially, the flats in question were let from three to four nights per week (as a minimum) up to approximately ten nights. However, a length of stay table indicated that 77% of the lets were for one or two nights. In the period from March 2017 to January 2018 over a thousand different bookings were made. The "scheme managers" provided a basic welcome pack and linen and towels were changed on a weekly basis. There were no communal facilities.
The planning inspector referred to the case of Moore v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and another  EWCA Civ 1202 as establishing the correct approach to be taken when considering whether or not a material change of use from a dwellinghouse to a holiday or commercial residential use had occurred (see Legal update, Holiday rental can be a material change of use (Court of Appeal)).
The inspector considered that as a matter of fact and degree the variable nature of the transient uses of the properties had resulted in a distinctly different character of usage from that of a class C3 use. He considered that the short-term letting pattern could result in undue levels of noise or disturbance for some occupants of the apartments. The inspector acknowledged the expectation that visitors were more likely to arrive or depart at anti-social hours than permanent residents. He concluded that there had been a material change of use from class C3 to a sui generis use in each of the 13 flats for which no planning permission had been granted.
The appeals against the enforcement notices were dismissed.