Can I rent out my annexe?

Introduction to this week’s blog – Can I rent out my annexe?

In this blog we’ll answer the burning question on many householders’ lips “Can I rent out my annexe?” Read on to find out more.

Planning rules and regulations can be complex, and when it comes to annexes, there are important considerations that every homeowner should be aware of. One common misconception is the idea of renting out an annexe as a separate dwelling. Consequently, we explore the reasons why annexes cannot be rented out as separate dwellings and explore alternative uses for these.

Defining annexes and their purpose

An annexe is typically an additional self-contained living space located within the garden of the principal dwelling. This is also called the ‘curtilage’. Annexes are often used to accommodate family members, provide extra space, or serve as a home office. However, it is crucial to understand that an annexe is an extension of the main property and not a separate entity – it must be ancillary (a secondary use).

Change of use and planning units

In planning terms, renting out an annexe as a separate dwelling constitutes a ‘material change of use.’ This means that the annexe is no longer serving its original purpose as an ancillary extension of the main dwelling. Instead, it is being used as an independent living space, which triggers full planning considerations. Additionally, creating a separate dwelling in the form of an annexe results in the formation of a new planning unit. A planning unit is a distinct area of land that is considered separately for planning purposes.

When an annexe is used as a separate dwelling, there are potential concerns about parking and amenity space. Local planning policies often require a certain amount of parking spaces and outdoor space per dwelling to ensure a reasonable quality of life for residents. If an annexe is rented out independently, these requirements may not be met, leading to planning complications.

Using annexes for Airbnb

While renting out annexes as separate dwellings may pose challenges due to planning regulations, alternative methods exist to make the most of them. One option is using annexes for short-term rental through platforms like Airbnb. This approach usually does not result in a material change of use or the creation of a new planning unit.

However, it is important to note that even short-term rentals may be subject to local planning regulations, and homeowners should still check with their local planning authority to ensure compliance. Homeowners should approach Airbnb usage with the understanding that the primary function of the property remains residential.

Short-term Airbnb use should not alter the residential character of the land. The intention is to provide short-term accommodations rather than fundamentally altering the long-term nature of a residential neighbourhood. This way, annexes can contribute positively to the sharing economy without jeopardising the enduring residential character of the land.

Conclusion to the question: can I rent out my annexe?

Navigating the use of annexes involves careful consideration of planning regulations. While renting out annexes as separate dwellings poses challenges, short-term rentals through platforms like Airbnb offer flexibility without altering the residential character of the land.

Get in touch

If you have an annexe and want to know more about using it for Airbnb purposes, please get in touch with us and one of our expert planners will be happy to discuss your project. Using the contact form below you can get in touch by email, or call us on 01285 283200.

Further reading

For more information on the property market at the date of writing this blog (December 2023) click here to visit Zoopla’s rental property market report.

We have a whole section of our website dedicated to annexes, and planning permission, here are just a few related to the property market.

Does using your annexe as an Airbnb require planning permission?

Boom in Annexe Popularity

Buying a Home with an annexe in mind


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